Mormonheart

How to deal with church critics and apostates?

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18 hours ago, Mormonheart said:

In my ward, a young man who was excommunicated because of homosexuality and apostasy  Now he calls the members, and tells them that the church is a lie. He has already called me. Last night he stood before my door, with a young man, holding hands and kissing. For me a provocation. I asked him to leave, but he gave me a book, written by an evangelical priest (Rüdiger Hauth), who writes about what is going on in the temple.
I did not want the book, and this morning I found it in the mailbox!
I took the book to my apartment and thrown it into the trash can. The dog (I have a German shepherd and a Poodle), has brought out the book from the trash can, and has given me (the shepherd). I have three questions:

 

  1. How should I deal with this former member?
  2. Should I read the book or send it back to him (he was my home teacher)? .
  3. Can you pray for me so that I am strong enough to make the right decision?

I thank you all!

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

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8 hours ago, yjacket said:

No.  That isn't a friend that is an enabler!!!  My friend wants to jump off a bridge b/c he thinks it will bring happiness.  "Welp, I'm happy that you are happy with that decision".  Come on, that is dumb. 

I true friend warns, uplifts and says, I don't agree with this decision, it will not bring you true happiness; if that is what you wish to do-it is your life, but I will not rejoice in your "happiness" and I won't enable you.  I will still be here as a friend-but I ain't gonna cheer you on in this.

And quite frankly this is exactly the problem, b/c too many members of the Church really don't believe that homosexual behavior is sin or xyz and it is being pushed that "well there is nothing we can do, so we should just be happy for them".  This world has gone mad.

I don't think you understand what I am saying, but that is okay.

If you truly feel differently than I do in regards to loving your fellowman, we will probably simply just need to agree to disagree.

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1 hour ago, Armin said:

See here, § 238 StGB als Stalking-Straftatbestand:

https://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/stalking-beschattung-belaestigung-bedrohung_016552.html

The StGB -Strafgesetzbuch- is the German penal or criminal code. The German criminal or penal law is different from the American, which is based on the common law, while the German criminal law bases on the StGB, where acts constituting a criminal offence (Straftat) are summarized and exactly defined (Straftatbestand).

I have read the link. It was pretty interesting. Are you an attorney, or why do you know it so well?
In the law stood, that this is to someone which repeatedly harassed or stalking another person. And so far the person has annoyed me only once. But if may he should do this more often, I will report him to the police, I promise.

The fasting and the blessing of the bishop, whom I had asked him to-day, already had an effect. I can hardly remember the content of what I had read. I am sure your prayers were also helpful.
For me, a sign that this is the church of the Lord, which this former member has lied, or simply lost his testimony. No wonder when someone is gay!

I would like to take the opportunity to give my testimony here and now.
I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, as it is Thomas Monson in our time.
God still speaks to us today through His prophets. And we do well to listen to what God tells us through His prophets.
I know that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is the Word of God, but the Book of Mormon is error-free.
And I know how harmful it is, however, to deal with apostates and their literature. This I write, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Edited by Mormonheart

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15 hours ago, Seek said:

Who isn't living in sin? Let he who hasn't sinned cast the first word.

Why not lend a hand and help them to their feet so to speak (be positive), instead of keeping them down with your open disapproval? 

If you took the log out of your own eye before trying to take the sliver out of theirs, that would be one thing.

Of course we are all in sin.  But some of us acknowledge and try to escape it.  Others of us wallow in it, then insist that no one dare mention our filth.

The trouble with "helping such people to their feet" is that, spiritually speaking, those who choose to pursue a homosexual relationship don't want to get on their feet.  Talk about church as a hospital for the sick all you want; but don't forget that hospitals have a common denominator:  their patients want to get well; and they aren't trying to countermand the doctor's every order.

We can be polite to those who reject the pattern of living that God has prescribed.  We can love them.  But we aren't helping anyone by pretending that there's moral equivalence between routinely engaging in sodomy, and letting out a cuss word every now and again.

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7 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I don't think you understand what I am saying, but that is okay.

If you truly feel differently than I do in regards to loving your fellowman, we will probably simply just need to agree to disagree.

I get what you are saying and I agree with you. 

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I, personally, wouldn't give it much thought. At this point there hasn't been any real harm. If the intent of the former member was to get a rise, the perfect anecdote is indifference. I would simply wish him all the best in his new "spiritual" quest.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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13 hours ago, Armin said:

There are two possible ways. He can obtain a legal injunction at the civil court in his district. He has put an application there, explaining that his application is valid or well-founded, but moreover, and that's certainly easier, he can make a penal application at the police or state attorney.

See here, § 238 StGB als Stalking-Straftatbestand:

https://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/stalking-beschattung-belaestigung-bedrohung_016552.html

The StGB -Strafgesetzbuch- is the German penal or criminal code. The German criminal or penal law is different from the American, which is based on the common law, while the German criminal law bases on the StGB, where acts constituting a criminal offence (Straftat) are summarized and exactly defined (Straftatbestand).

 

Thank you, i wasnt aware at the time MH was over in that part of the world at thevtime... And ya id imagine things might be a tad different there.

 

Bad assumpyion on my part 

>.>

<.<

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For several years, I operated a web site called "The Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism" (hence the name SPAMLDS). It was not so much as a "defend the faith" apologetics site as it was an information portal through which to study the phenomenon of anti-Mormonism.  It became fairly well known and was hated by anti-Mormons and ex-Mormons.  

One of the things I came to understand was that there is a distinct line between someone who thinks Mormons are cultists because their preacher told them or someone who has a grudge against the Church because they couldn't go to their daughter's wedding because they hadn't paid tithing for years.  Anti-Mormonism is an industry.  They actually refer to themselves as the "counter-cult industry."  This industry consists of about 800 "ministries" and "parachurches" that work with a number of publishers and content producers.  Many of these are for-profit enterprises.  They are not "ministries" in the traditional sense.

These groups sell their services to your average neighborhood evangelical church.  Those services range from holding seminars to selling them packets of brochures and booklets to give their members.  We found and exposed some of these for-profit ministries who posed as non-profits and solicited donations.  These companies (that's what they really are) can have an international reach, thanks to the Internet.  We outed one "ministry" in Arizona that had set up a web site with a Canadian Internet service provider and posted a web site called "African Ex-Mormons for Jesus."  They were somewhat angry and threatened to sue us when we showed that this African ministry was run by a couple of white guys in Arizona.  

Over the time we ran the web site, we identified and categorized the various attacks they use into six categories.  Just being able to identify the type of attack goes a long way to disarming their arguments.  You see it's part of a scheme they've worked out.  They don't have to prove anything to be true.  Their mission is to instill doubt.  Arguing with them is pretty pointless.  As soon as you have proven your point to someone, the accuser will pivot to a new topic.  There will always be a new challenger who joined the effort who will send you the "Jesus and Satan are brothers" attack, even though you may have answered it a hundred times before.  There is no end to them.  

I think that's why there are few Mormon apologetics sites.  The opposition will just wear you out.  It's the same old thing over and over.  They aren't sincere.  They don't research.  They will not "ask of God" at all.  Their hearts and minds are closed.

Ultimately, the organized anti-Mormon effort is part of a hate movement, as the FBI describes them.  I wrote an article about it that I posted on this forum a couple of years ago.  Here's the link:  https://mormonhub.com/forums/topic/58248-anti-mormonism-and-the-seven-step-hate-model/

When you realize that true anti-Mormons (whether they be apostates, dissenters, or critics outside the Church) are engaged in hate, you can use the methods the FBI suggests in this article.  It works for neo-Nazis and it works for anti-Mormons.  Hate is hate, after all.  The way to deal with it is basically the same.

Quote

 

1. See the offender as a child of God who is filled with insecurities that motivate his or her hateful actions.

2. Respond to the false charges, lies, and disinformation with accurate information inasmuch as possible.

3. Take a personal interest in the hater and inquire about his family background, upbringing, and future plans. Help him reflect on what insecurities drive their actions and cause their animosity towards Mormons. This will be difficult because they cannot go forward until they expose their personal insecuriies. There will be resistance, lashing out, personal attacks, etc.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Armin said:

This might depend on several aspects. I wouldn't be sure there wasn't any real harm...

I am going off what MH said about his/her experience. Nothing more, and nothing less. No surety involved either way. I think my advise is sound nevertheless, though I wouldn't be surprised if my advise wasn't taken. It usually isn't. Best wishes to all parties whatever they decide.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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On 4/9/2017 at 0:36 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

Of course we are all in sin.  But some of us acknowledge and try to escape it.  Others of us wallow in it, then insist that no one dare mention our filth.

The trouble with "helping such people to their feet" is that, spiritually speaking, those who choose to pursue a homosexual relationship don't want to get on their feet.  Talk about church as a hospital for the sick all you want; but don't forget that hospitals have a common denominator:  their patients want to get well; and they aren't trying to countermand the doctor's every order.

We can be polite to those who reject the pattern of living that God has prescribed.  We can love them.  But we aren't helping anyone by pretending that there's moral equivalence between routinely engaging in sodomy, and letting out a cuss word every now and again.

If a person's sin is neither abusive nor violent towards another, then don't mention it to them, because it's radically inappropriate to do so. When you call out their sin—unless as a cherished friend, or family—you're essentially saying that you're more righteous than they are (less "filthy"). 

And with regard to someone who's content with practicing homosexuality, even as they acknowledge it's sin: Aren't we all content with some sin of ours? 

Take this passage from James 2:

"However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not kill.” Even if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom." [James 2:8–12]

So what you're saying is that sodomy is worse than cussing? or that one particular sin is more damnable than another?

If so, perhaps there'll be people who "routinely engage in sodomy" that'll enter the kingdom of heaven before you do. 

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1 hour ago, Seek said:

If a person's sin is neither abusive nor violent towards another, then don't mention it to them, because it's radically inappropriate to do so. When you call out their sin—unless as a cherished friend, or family—you're essentially saying that you're more righteous than they are (less "filthy"). 

And with regard to someone who's content with practicing homosexuality, even as they acknowledge it's sin: Aren't we all content with some sin of ours? 

Take this passage from James 2:

. . .

So what you're saying is that sodomy is worse than cussing? or that one particular sin is more damnable than another?

If so, perhaps there'll be people who "routinely engage in sodomy" that'll enter the kingdom of heaven before you do. 

A couple of responses:

1) When did I say anything about mentioning a person's individualized sins to that person?  Generally speaking I agree with you that that's generally a poor idea unless there is a relationship of trust and/or a family/priesthood stewardship.  But in the abstract, it is incumbent on Latter-day Saints in general, and priesthood holders in particular, to warn against every kind of sin; and not be muzzled just because someone who revels in that sin claims to be personally offended.  Nor does our weakness in one area of conduct, prevent us from speaking out against other moral ills that through the grace of Christ we have been able to avoid or overcome.

2)  I notice that "Christians" of a certain stripe are very happy to parrot this "you break one sin, you've broken them all" canard.  But not many of them, having noticed their teenager stole a stick of gum, would be apathetic to their teenager's then proceeding to sexually molest a child.  Different sins have different severities, morally as well as legally.  We know this from our consciences as manifested in the way we actually live our individual lives; from the legal system we have implemented in our civil society; and from scriptures like Alma 39:5.

3)  As for who gets into heaven before me:  if you think that we Christians/Mormons who warn against sin are primarily interested in smugly identifying the rubes who are going to Hell whilst gloating over our own exalted status--you really don't know us, or our conception of the relationship between sin and spiritual development, or Mormon soteriology, at all.  And sly suggestions that Mormons are sitting on a righteous high horse of their own making, come off as little more than simple projection.  Just who in this discussion is asserting their moral superiority over whom, pray tell?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 4/10/2017 at 8:08 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

A couple of responses:

1) When did I say anything about mentioning a person's individualized sins to that person?  Generally speaking I agree with you that that's generally a poor idea unless there is a relationship of trust and/or a family/priesthood stewardship.  But in the abstract, it is incumbent on Latter-day Saints in general, and priesthood holders in particular, to warn against every kind of sin; and not be muzzled just because someone who revels in that sin claims to be personally offended.  Nor does our weakness in one area of conduct, prevent us from speaking out against other moral ills that through the grace of Christ we have been able to avoid or overcome.

2)  I notice that "Christians" of a certain stripe are very happy to parrot this "you break one sin, you've broken them all" canard.  But not many of them, having noticed their teenager stole a stick of gum, would be apathetic to their teenager's then proceeding to sexually molest a child.  Different sins have different severities, morally as well as legally.  We know this from our consciences as manifested in the way we actually live our individual lives; from the legal system we have implemented in our civil society; and from scriptures like Alma 39:5.

3)  As for who gets into heaven before me:  if you think that we Christians/Mormons who warn against sin are primarily interested in smugly identifying the rubes who are going to Hell whilst gloating over our own exalted status--you really don't know us, or our conception of the relationship between sin and spiritual development, or Mormon soteriology, at all.  And sly suggestions that Mormons are sitting on a righteous high horse of their own making, come off as little more than simple projection.  Just who in this discussion is asserting their moral superiority over whom, pray tell?


1. The gentleman I had quoted seemed to advocate such.  Since you quoted me in that context, I assumed you advocated the same.

2. The point of this "canard" is to warn the faithful of their inability to properly distinguish between misdemeanor and felony; that they lack the judgment and knowledge to make such a call, and that such will be clarified at the resurrection.  Without this understanding one person can smugly point to another and say, "Look here, a felon!" and conjure animosity among others towards that person.

3. When one person identifies another as a felon, they are being smug — even if they identify them for the sake of warning them.

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On 4/8/2017 at 6:12 AM, Mormonheart said:
  1. How should I deal with this former member?

A shotgun comes to mind.

On 4/8/2017 at 6:12 AM, Mormonheart said:

Should I read the book?

Why?

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1 hour ago, Seek said:


1. The gentleman I had quoted seemed to advocate such.  Since you quoted me in that context, I assumed you advocated the same.

If you are referring to me, you are quite mistaken.  I said :

"When you express happiness at others who live their live in sin directly contrary to God's will that is not being a good example. We don't have to be jerks, but at the same time we don't have to condone it- "

(emphasis added).

I remember in college there was a guy once who was holding up a huge sign saying "God HATES sinners. God HATES homosexuals .  .. etc. etc."  I think the guy was being a jerk about it. God hates the sin of homosexuality (as he does all sin), but he loves the individual.  

Christ would have never said, "I'm happy that you are happy in the way you sin".

Please comprehend carefully.  I was specifically referring to this idea (IMO perverse idea), that one should express that they are "happy" that some other individual is happy b/c they are living a lifestyle that is contrary to the Gospel.  There are four types of responses, #1 expressing joy in their decisions, #2 saying nothing about it or #3 saying you disapprove (these actions are sin, etc.), but respect their right to choose or #4 vehemently condemn them.

IMO expressing that one is "happy" that they are happy comes very, very close to condoning such action.  "Hey, I'm happy that you are happy you had an abortion!!!"  Really, someone who has a deep rooted belief that abortion is murder would say that? I don't think so.

Yet when it comes to homosexuality, as a culture we have become so utterly brainwashed by mass media, and we have become complete cowards that we say stupid things like "I'm happy that you are happy with your new homosexual partner". So what exactly is the difference in the two sentences?  In one, culture has not (as yet-even though it has tried) made people afraid to say abortion is murder, abortion is wrong. In the later, culture has so completely ingrained people that to say anything otherwise means you are (gasp!!!!!) a bigot!!!! (oh the horror!!!!).  So in order to not be perceived as a bigot, or a homophobe, or what have you, people say stupid phrases, like "I'm happy you're happy" as the PC way of getting around being perceived as being a bigot.  One can say "I'm happy your happy" and then feel satisfied that a) "well in my mind I didn't condone it" (yet they did) and b) I can't be labeled a bigot now.  Because if one doesn't say anything-you're a bigot, if one says "I disapprove, but I respect your decisions"-you're a bigot. And you're especially a bigot if one condemns them.

In other words, through social shaming and cowardice, the left and others have ensured that the only "right" response is to congratulate someone on choosing to live a life contrary to the gospel.

As you said, sin is sin and no unclean thing can enter into God's presence.  However, some sin is easier to get rid of than other sin.  Homosexuality and sexual sins are some of the most serious sins. Why? Because as with murder, they are dealing with the power of life. Abuses of the power to take life and the power to create life are among the most heinous sins.  And homosexuality is absolutely an abuse of the power to create life.

I have many, many things in my life to correct; and I don't look at myself as better than so-and-so b/c I don't sin in that way.  I've been through my own personal fires of Hell and Damnation.  I need Christ in my life very much to help me correct my life and keep it somewhat on the right path. But just b/c I am a very weak man and have my own foibles, problems, and issues does not mean I do not have the right nor ability to directly say what is right or what is wrong.

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On 4/9/2017 at 0:14 AM, Seek said:

Why not lend a hand and help them to their feet so to speak (be positive), instead of keeping them down with your open disapproval? 

The vast, vast majority of homosexuals don't want to be helped on their feet. They want God (if they believe in Him) to support them in their wickedness. 

There are some who are examples and who strive to live the Gospel even when tempted by all these unrighteous things-but they are more the exception rather than the rule.

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Guest
13 hours ago, Seek said:

2. The point of this "canard" is to warn the faithful of their inability to properly distinguish between misdemeanor and felony; that they lack the judgment and knowledge to make such a call, and that such will be clarified at the resurrection.  Without this understanding one person can smugly point to another and say, "Look here, a felon!" and conjure animosity among others towards that person.

3. When one person identifies another as a felon, they are being smug — even if they identify them for the sake of warning them.

2. If you truly believe that, then you must also believe we cannot have the power of discerning of spirits (1 Cor 12:10) which is the power to discern good promptings and evil temptations, as well as determine what is a greater or lesser evil.  Else we couldn't apply the Lord's meaning of Matt 7:3-5 being unable to determine what is the mote and what is the beam. 

While I agree that this does not allow one to become smug, it does allow one to make a judgment of a person's behavior, whether it is their own or that of another.

3.  That is sheer projection on your part and based nowhere in fact or reality. We are commanded to call people to repentance (Mark 6:12).  We are supposed to teach people when they've done something that offends God or else they may never even know they are supposed to repent of it, leaving them to continue in sin.  

If you believe identifying a felon makes one smug, you believe that earthly government has no right to punish criminals and even killing in self-defense is a sin because that requires one to identify another's intent to do evil (i.e. identify them as a felon).  That is simply beyond reason.

Smugness comes when we are unable to separate the sin from the sinner.  We can still love the person, while condemning his actions.  This is what allows people to remain friends even when they disagree on some significant issues.

Edited by Guest

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14 hours ago, Seek said:


1. The gentleman I had quoted seemed to advocate such.  Since you quoted me in that context, I assumed you advocated the same.

2. The point of this "canard" is to warn the faithful of their inability to properly distinguish between misdemeanor and felony; that they lack the judgment and knowledge to make such a call, and that such will be clarified at the resurrection.  Without this understanding one person can smugly point to another and say, "Look here, a felon!" and conjure animosity among others towards that person.

3. When one person identifies another as a felon, they are being smug — even if they identify them for the sake of warning them.

1.  Suffice it to say, that isn't how I read @yjacket's post.  There's a not-too-fine line between declining to express pleasure/support/condonation of sin; and obnoxiously confronting a person with accusations of sin at every turn.  @yjacket didn't strike me as advocating the latter course of action.

2.  Except that we have Divinely-ordained scripture and living prophets to tell us exactly what courses of action constitute "felonies"; and we are under divine commission to (in appropriate ways, to be sure) warn against felonious behavior.

And again, you misapprehend us.  The point isn't to identify and ostracize felons.  The point is to warn people--all people--against felonious conduct.  Or at least, as I understand yjacket--not to create the false and dangerous impression that felonies aren't felonies.

3.  Again, I don't think that was the point of yjacket's post.

But, your argument nonetheless intrigues me for its own sake.  I will be in a courtroom this afternoon.  Shall I tell the judge, bailiff, and prosecutor that their public commissions, by definition, make them "smug"?  Should I encourage them to resign their appointments; or merely demand that they dismiss every felony case that comes their way?

Wrong is wrong; and it is incumbent on certain officers to say that even if doing so offends the wrongdoers and challenges the self-image they have constructed for themselves.  "Smugness" has nothing to do with it, except as a means of self-justification by the wrongdoer.  "Who are you to judge me?" is the argument Pharoah used against Moses; that Jerusalem used against Jeremiah; that Noah's priests used against Abinadi; that the people of Ammonihah used against Alma; and that the Pharisees used against Christ Himself.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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9 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

There's a not-too-fine line between declining to express pleasure/support/condonation of sin; and obnoxiously confronting a person with accusations of sin at every turn.

For what it's worth, I don't think that line is fine at all. It's a big, bold, plain obvious line.

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