Another "Church Culture Stinks" Article


Fether

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https://thirdhour.org/blog/life/mormon-culture/culture-punch-in-face/

I have my own list if anyone cares to read:

1) Joking about trying to avoid the bishop or trying to get out of a talk or calling.

2) Saying that it is acceptable that you are consistently 15 minutes late to 9 am church when you have kids (same family continues to be 15 minutes late to 11:30 am church when the time changes... speaking from personal experience)

3) Focusing on exceptions and unique cases instead of principles of the gospel / leaving long disclaimers at the end of testimonies to prevent offending anyone. (ie "God wants all worthy able men to serve missions, but if you *insert 5 minute explanation as to why missions aren't for everyone*")

4) to-do lists are evil and Pharisaical. The higher law is to just be good and you will naturally do everything you need to.

5) Accusing anyone of hypocrisy or being judgmental. (These are just ways of redirecting personal failing that have been brought to light. And I am not sure we really understand what hypocrisy REALLY means)

6) Home Teaching was this terrible program that needed to change (it wasn't, it was a fantastic program that members failed at).

7) Desiring and enjoying leadership callings is bad. Aspiring to leadership is bad. (We should all be aspiring to Godhood and seeking opportunities to serve a grow along the way)

eight*) Dinner foods cant be eaten for breakfast (yes they can)

9) Complaining about church culture is cool. (It's not)

*Every time I typed "8 )" it turned into 😎

Edited by Fether
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I dislike articles like this because they come off as whiny. They always focus on the idea of "if only everyone changed to fit my own view of things then the church would be great". It's just silly. The Church of Jesus Christ in every dispensation has been filled with mortals. That means that since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, toes have been stepped on, people have been cold when they should have been kind, people have been nosy when they shouldn't have been, and rock steady members have apostatized and made others question their testimony. While I think honest attempts to improve ourselves are important, by complaining about everyone church wide instead of working on yourself, you guarantee nothing will happen. You can't change "church culture". You can change yourself, and while there are always exceptions and always will be until Christ comes again, most members are genuinely decent people who are trying to do better, so maybe try cutting each other some slack instead of complaining that everyone isn't perfect. Just my two cents.

Edited by Midwest LDS
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13 hours ago, Fether said:

At this point, I just skim the article, sigh, and go on to what's next. Complaining about articles like this is like complaining about zits, Democrats, or the tide. The author is unable to perceive the irony in the very writing of her article. I would call it hypocrisy, but the word "hypocrite" comes from a Greek term that literally means a play actor putting on a false face for everyone else to see, and I am not convinced that the author is sufficiently mature or self-aware to understand how much she exemplifies the traits she claims to disdain.

Edited by Vort
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46 minutes ago, Vort said:

At this point, I just skim the article, sigh, and go on to what's next. Complaining about articles like this is like complaining about zits, Democrats, or the tide. The author is unable to perceive the irony in the very writing of her article. I would call it hypocrisy, but the word "hypocrisy" comes from a Greek term that literally means a play actor putting on a false face for everyone else to see, and I am not convinced that the author is sufficiently mature or self-aware to understand how much she exemplifies the traits she claims to disdain.

What I really dislike about articles (and writers) such as these is the bubble they live under.  They have zero awareness that the Church extends beyond the streets of Utah.  Saying this is "Mormon Culture" is as ignorant as Bernie Sanders saying Native Americans represent environmentalism...

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Up at the altar there are souls...some are repenting, others are quietly joyful. There are tears, holy silence, and a lady in the corner is even laughing. A deacon is concerned by the seeming irreverence of this woman and goes over to whisper in the pastor's ear. He responds quietly, yet with force, "Leave that woman alone. I know her backstory. She has never laughed in her life and tonight she's experienced the joy of the Lord."

Meanwhile, in the back are a group of teens snickering about how fake the church is, and how there's nothing happening up front except a bunch of showboating:  Sophomoric cynicism that feigns to be insightful and honest commentary.

Edited by prisonchaplain
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8 hours ago, Maureen said:

Any kind of "social culture" CAN be changed, and should be; especially if it is not helpful.

M.

That isn't what I said. You can't change other people by complaining about them. The only person you can change is yourself. Now an article where the author talks about ways they've changed some of their own behaviors and the positive effects it's had for them at church? That would be a good read, and a whole lot more effective than the article here.

Not only that, just as I mentioned any church, ours included, will always be full of individual people who fall short of who they should be, sometimes in really big ways. Always. The question is, do you learn to love them anyways, and work to treat them as Christ would, or do you grind your teeth and whine about "church culture" and overlook your own sins and imperfections? You can only change yourself.

Edited by Midwest LDS
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9 hours ago, Maureen said:

Any kind of "social culture" CAN be changed, and should be; especially if it is not helpful.

M.

Yes and it requires you as an individual personally looking in the mirror not liking what you see and vowing to be better.  (which is really a summary of how the gospel works)

It is not changed by shrilly demanding everyone else change to fit whatever notion you think is right and true.

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Guest MormonGator
10 hours ago, Maureen said:

Any kind of "social culture" CAN be changed, and should be; especially if it is not helpful.

M.

Agree. Time tends to change the culture, no matter who complains about it. Sometimes it's best to adapt instead of whining about what has changed. 

Edited by MormonGator
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8 hours ago, Vort said:

I am not convinced that the author is sufficiently mature or self-aware to understand how much she exemplifies the traits she claims to disdain.

Having correctly-set expectations solves the issue for me.  These are from kids in journalism school.  I'm glad all of my usenet and BBS postings back in those days have mostly died an unarchived digital death - I'm sure I'd be horrified to discover how much I was on a bar with these kids, back when I was one.

Author's bio:

Quote

Becca is an adventure-seeking, music-loving, student and blogger who would prefer to live her life barefoot in the great outdoors. Her passions include backpacking, reading, dancing, and violining. She is convinced she has the greatest sisters in the world.

College is a perfect time to take all your youthful idealism, show it to the world, and crash into the concrete pylons of reality and more mature opinion.  College is the air bag.  These kids'll survive.

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33 minutes ago, Fether said:

Are you a legitimate brony?

[Stage whisper] Actually, he was born out of wedlock; but we don’t like to talk about it.  

(Sorry, couldn’t resist the bad dad joke.)

 

 

On a more solemn note:  rejecting any aspiration to righteousness, is not an improvement over hypocrisy.  It just means we aren’t even bothering any more with trying to teach the rising generation to improve themselves.  It’s a (literally) damnable condition for any society to find themselves in.  

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11 hours ago, Maureen said:

And vice versa - breakfast foods CAN be eaten at dinner. 😊

M.

The world has already agreed this is acceptable... but if you are caught at 6:30am grilling a steak, or re-heating last nights lasagna... you might as well ostracize yourself on an island.

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26 minutes ago, Fether said:

The world has already agreed this is acceptable... but if you are caught at 6:30am grilling a steak, or re-heating last nights lasagna... you might as well ostracize yourself on an island.

That's true, steak and lasagna are unusual for breakfast, but I've tried pizza and chinese food for breakfast and they are just as good in the morning as they are later in the day. But you're correct, your typical heavier dinner foods are not common for breakfast.

M.

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50 minutes ago, mirkwood said:

Yea, what's next, still reading comics and playing Dungeons and Dragons?

Perish the thought. Why would I spend hours of my life doing something fun and enjoyable when I can sit at home staring at the wall and patting myself on the back about how I don't soil myself with children's interests?😉

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My father was one of the world's brightest individuals.  I do not know of anything he put himself to that he did not succeed at.  He loved art but soon learned great art in "Mormon" culture would not support his family.  So he became an art teacher - but great art teachers do no make than much more than poor art teachers.   He became a business man and an investor (including art investor) and an artist.  He became very successful but decided it is better to raise children from poverty  than wealth.  Why this little back story?  Because of his success there were lots of others that came to my father about investment advice.  They wanted to know where to put their money.  His first question was - How much money do you have to invest?  and how much of that can you loose?

Without going into too much detail - his advice was to take responsibility upon yourself, start with what you have and learn to invest.  Think of your losses as investments in learning and education rather than failures.  Then he would add a thought that few seemed to understand.  He would say, "Always invest in people - never invest in things or ideas".  It was not until my father passed away that I understood I was one of his "investments".

This thread is about investing in people or should I say how to succeed through others.  Most people think of success in terms of what they can accomplish - that is the shortest road possible to failure.  Some people think of success in terms of what they can get others to do - especially if they can get others to do things for them.  That is another short road to failure.  The only road to success is what you and someone else can do together.  I believe this is why President McKay said, "There is not success that will compensate for failure in the home."

If your bishop fails - you have failed.  If your minister fails - you have failed.  If your spouse fails - you have failed.  If your kids fail - you have failed.  If anyone you know has failed - you have failed.  Weather or not we realize it - we invest in others.  Our every relationship is an investment.

Once I came home with a failing grade in a class.  I knew I would have to face my father and explain my failure.  I prepared well and told him how the teacher had failed.  The subject was difficult and the teacher just was not up to the task.  At the beginning of this post I mentioned that my father was once a teacher.   He sat me down and told me that regardless of how poorly he taught as a teacher that was always that student the passed his class.  He also told me that regardless of how well he taught the class there was always a student that would fail.  He told me that what was the most interesting to him what that regardless of what he did - it was always the same students that would pass his class and always the same students that would fail.  What he needed to do was get the most he could out of all the students and that meant that it was up to him to convince them that they failed or succeeded on their own terms.  That they choose to learn and succeed or they refused and rejected on their own terms.  The he asked me - what king of a student I was - one that regardless of how good or bad a teacher was - would I be one that learned - or rejected what the teacher offered?

I do not go to church to learn how to be inspired and be closer to G-d - I can do that without going to church -- I know this because I have been in some very horrible places and have felt G-d beside me just as much or more so than at church.  I also know that some of the greatest people are not always at church - sometimes the greatest people I have known have been with me in those horrible places.  The reason I go to church - is because I can.  When I have enough control to be where I want to be - Then I will be there.  When I can choose - I choose church.  

 

The Traveler

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17 hours ago, Maureen said:

Any kind of "social culture" CAN be changed, and should be; especially if it is not helpful.

M.

3 hour down to 2 hour church service along with a reduction of leadership meetings are just some examples of changes that impact church culture. So you are correct maureen, it is already happening.

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8 hours ago, estradling75 said:

Yes and it requires you as an individual personally looking in the mirror not liking what you see and vowing to be better.  (which is really a summary of how the gospel works)

It is not changed by shrilly demanding everyone else change to fit whatever notion you think is right and true.

Some members will face the music and just work through unpleasurable social cultures/situations at church, most dont say a word and just disappear. My exwife and 3 daughters are one of those that disappeared. Leaders still texting me and emailing about youth activities and I dont tell them why my kids cant come, only that they cant make it or I dont reply at all. It would be embarassing for me to tell the leaders all the problems my family has with church and with some of the members. Its quite sad actually and I am torn between the two. 

1,2,3,4...7 or 8 people disappear no problem the church moves on without you. 100's dissapear and now you got a stake like mine which had to eliminate 1 ward and realign boundaries 3 times in the last 15 yrs because of shrinking attendance and little if any growth. Not to mention churchwide changes in many programs to more effectively engage and serve members.

In hind sight your statement stands true that the biggest and most effective way to change church culture is for individuals to change themselves. Unfortunately for the church it is the environment that these individuals have changed to find their peace without disrupting the whole, or in other words they disappear. Now instead of the individuals having a problem, the church has a problem....and not just LDS but all christian denominations are experiencing this.

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Guest MormonGator
5 hours ago, mirkwood said:

Yea, what's next, still reading comics and playing Dungeons and Dragons?

I literally laughed out loud when I read this! Awesome. 

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