carlimac

Gays and the church

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[1] I probably don't have the same exposure to pedophiles that you do, but I have read a few articles (usually by the therapist(s) treating the kinds of pedophiles you describe), and I agree they do have a rough time, and I don't envy them one bit. My own struggles have been hellish enough, but pale compared to theirs (and, frankly, to run of the mill LGBT+ people, too). I don't have any real answers for those with a true orientation towards pedophilia, but I do feel like their is one important distinction between pedophiles and most other LGBT+ like Archuleta. Archuleta's potential romantic partners will be adults who are able to choose to reciprocate or not his overtures. The pain and frustration felt by the "ethical" pedophile (did I just coin that?) like you describe is, I seem to recall being mentioned, is a recognition that the children they are attracted to cannot reciprocate because of their age. I know many conservatives do not like it when consent is touted as the only or primary legitimizer of sexual activity, but it certainly isn't small potatoes, either. Consent is a significant part of a romantic and sexual relationship. The other thing I might push back some against is the idea that God "coerces" people into being eunuchs as applying to all LGBT+. Certainly pedophiles who are not "fluid" enough to be attracted to adults as well would be best to stay single and celibate. Can the same thing be said about other LGBT+ -- that God is coercing them to be single and celibate when society has evolved to see these relationships as acceptable?

[2] In the end, I don't think I really have any answers, and I'm not convinced that the Church has any more answers than I or Archuleta do. Consider all this lack of certainty, I find myself wondering if we ought to be a bit more tolerant when someone claims that God accepts them and their LGBT+ tendencies and let them run their life and retain fellowship in the Church.

1.  I think there are two possible contexts for your argument; and in one context it makes sense but in the other it’s less applicable.

Certainly, when we are taking about “what is it that actually makes the relationship sinful”—the analogy between pedophilia and homosexuality breaks down, because of the factors you mention.  Whatever it is that makes gay sex sinful, is certainly more nuanced than mere issues of consent.  (Although there are some pretty disturbing inroads being made that, unopposed, have the effect of undercutting a lot of what we have long taken for granted concerning “consent”; and it takes some measure of willpower for people naturally inclined towards pedophilia not to get caught up in that nonsense.  People who build their lives around the proposition that “love is love!” have remarkable capacity to rationalize whatever else needs to be rationalized.)

On the other hand—looking at it from the perspective of a person whose behavior is being restricted by doctrinal fiat:  fulfillment denied is fulfillment denied.  Solitude is solitude, loneliness is loneliness.  Moreover, most of the modern gay marriage argument is predicated on a version of companionate/romantic love that has existed for barely 200 of the 6000+ years of recorded human history; and it’s noteworthy that until about 30 years ago the only societies that even tolerated gay sex almost universally agreed that one’s indulgence in such practices ought not to take center stage in defining one’s role and responsibilities in the domestic and civic arenas.  So, to the extent that many LDS LGBTQ apologists say “look, God wouldn’t ask anyone to live like this”—pedophiles are material evidence that “yes, He most certainly does; He always has; and while you, Brother Gay Guy, are unique and valued and loved as a son of God with eternal potential—you are, to be perfectly frank, not THAT special.”

I would also be careful about using the term “coercing” (and I realize you were probably riffing off my earlier use of “compelled”, which probably wasn’t very thoughtful of me).  Because obviously, God “coerces” no one.  But He does impose conditions for exaltation; sometimes, very onerous and even painful ones.  Might God lighten those requirements to at times to accommodate those who live amongst increasingly degenerate social mores?  Perhaps—after all, He once tolerated child slavery and forced marriage; and I suppose it’s not inconceivable that He may do so again as our cultural decline continues. But even if it does, I think it becomes a “it must come, but woe to him by whom it cometh” thing.  Our role as Saints is to stand for truth and righteousness as long as we are called upon to do so, not to give aid and comfort to the Satanic forces conspiring to muzzle us and send us off into exile (or worse).  If we aren’t going to teach, promote, and normalize a celestial law at least within the confines of the Church—frankly, we may as well disband the Church and go off and join the Methodists (or for that matter, re-establish an ancient Phoenician sex cult); ‘cause we won’t be getting people exalted either way.

2). This is one of those things that sounds innocuous and appealing, until I really try to think about how it would be applied in practice; whereupon it seems to breed more questions than it answers.  What does “tolerate” mean?  What does “fellowship” mean?  And is it fair to say that the Church doesn’t have the answer, when the truth is really that (as you seem to acknowledge) our society has increasingly become one that doesn’t like the fact that God’s been giving the same answer for the last six thousand years?  What boundaries (if any) should exist to the Church’s efforts to tailor its message in a culture that is increasingly unwilling to hear (and live) sound doctrine?  Is it in principle bound to condone behaviors that prior prophets found damnably abhorrent, once a critical mass of profligates becomes unable or unwilling to cope with criticism and the broader culture takes their side?  Where, if anywhere, can the Church draw the line and say “no, this behavior is just plain wrong and it will always be wrong come hell or high water”?

I mean—if the APA and the AMA and the 1619 Project found the name of Christ to be traumatizing to people of color due to historical colonialism, and a few Ivy League universities generated a corpus of research focusing on the suicides of hapless Muslim and Buddhist teenagers living in western societies—surely we as a Church wouldn’t knuckle under and issue a proclamation denying the Christ.

(Would we?  I mean, why not, really?  Shouldn’t we think of the children?  We’re not monsters, after all . . .)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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11 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I find it interesting that many -- like Archuletta himself -- claim that God has revealed to them personally that He created them this way. How do we feel about such personal revelation from God?

I agree that God wants to overcome the natural man. I think the challenge we have -- similar to the previous -- is trying to decide exactly what falls under the umbrella of "natural man".

I hope I’m not inappropriately gatecrashing on your discussion with @carlimac, but my thought on the above is:

We know—the scriptures are abundantly clear—that people can claim spurious, self-serving revelations; either of their own or of satanic invention.  I would submit that such “revelations” are especially common in matters of sexual practice, because sex is such an emotionally fraught topic and so intimately bound up with issues of self-worth and self-justification and so on.  That, I think, is precisely why we are counseled to go to priesthood leaders when we find ourselves entangled in these sorts of issues—because we need that cross-check, that priesthood line of revelation that is relatively immune from the personal drama that we ourselves can’t help but being to the table.

And where homosexuality is concerned, the challenge hasn’t been a lack of clarity from the Church; it’s been thirty years of LGBTQ activists telling us “we don’t like that, tell us something new”.  “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.”

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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10 hours ago, MrShorty said:

In the end, I don't think I really have any answers, and I'm not convinced that the Church has any more answers than I or Archuleta do. Consider all this lack of certainty, I find myself wondering if we ought to be a bit more tolerant when someone claims that God accepts them and their LGBT+ tendencies and let them run their life and retain fellowship in the Church.

I'm honestly not sure why, when we have the light and knowledge we do (what has been revealed to the Church collectively), this is really such a hard argument. I'm not sure why "homosexuality" is some how put into a different category than the sin of adultery.

One could easily say, who is an adulterer, that they received a revelation that God made them that way. They are both a sin of desire and predisposition. The natural man, even taking it from an evolved species, has always (in the primate species) not been monogamous. Yet, we are commanded to be with only one woman, and if we step out that is sin.

Do you feel the same way about adulterers as you do homosexuals? If a unrepentant adulterer, were coming to Church (and we all knew he/she was unrepentant) how close would you keep that individual to your spouse? How tolerant would you be when he decides to sit by your spouse or try to visit your spouse when you are not home?

These are general questions, not particularly pointed in your direction. The adulterer could easily say, and it would be more true, that he was born that way. Yet, being born a certain way doesn't disregard the commandments of God.

Remember, God accepts all his children for who they are. He has even prepared a place for all his children who choose to live according to "who they are" (naturally) rather than according to who they are spiritually. God accepts his sons and daughters who live a life fit for the Telestial kingdom. God accepts his sons and daughters who want to live a life only for Terrestrial glory.

What God is hoping and trying is that we rise above the natural man, and return once again to live with him. Sadly, our world's society and acceptance is making something gray that is actually black and white, or as the scriptures say, that which we can tell as the daylight at noon day from the dark night.

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19 hours ago, askandanswer said:

As a general principle, I think that our relationship with one thing, in this case, those who are struggling with their covenants, should not be interpreted through our relationship with other things, in this case, that which is most sacred. They are two different relationships. 

 

18 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

How close you can be to someone to love them, depends on both of you.  There are ways to disagree agreeably, or agree to disagree, or engage in civil and respectful debate.  There can be sensitive topics that just don't get discussed.  Some things are just not important to hash or re-hash, because there's no point. 

There are also ways to love with people who insist on complaining about/mocking/scorning/fighting against sacred things. Sometimes, the way you love those folks, is "from a distance".

Please allow me to explain my question - for this I will use another topic or choice but I think the basic principles are still the same.  Before I get into the deep part of this - I would reference a discussion I had with a friend and police detective.  We were talking about the "criminal mind" and he told me that humans are social animals and the so called criminal mind (with the exception of individuals with severe mental issues) will not continue or continue behaviors without being enabled by others.  Even the most atrocious behavior will not continue unless there is a some kind of support for that behavior.   In essence, intelligent species learn behaviors - both by individual experience (like touching something hot) and the reaction of others (like smelling so badly that others will shun or pull away).

So for my example: let us take a single young man and a single young lady, both returned missionaries that are at the very beginning of establishing a "social" relationship - both looking for a compatible eternal partner (spouse).   But during their "dating" process the young man realizes that the young lady that he dearly likes and respects is into faction and likes wearing classy outfits that are not compatible with the wearing of temple garments.  The young man does want to continue to develop their relationship but how does he deal with the lady's fashion trend realizing that handled improperly - it could be a relationship breaker.  In short how can he deal with what he believes is disrespect for temple covenants without alienating the young lady?  Also keeping in mind that each individual has their Agency.  We can also apply this issue across many relationships both in families and friends - how can we maintain loving relationships when there are conflicts with sacred covenants without encouraging the offending party that their behavior is not okay.  Where is the line that someone crosses before we are willing to say - you should not be doing whatever it is that is not okay.

For myself - I tend to lack what my wife calls filters and indicate that I am uncomfortable with their attitudes towards that which makes me uncomfortable.  In other words I have difficulty with dishonesty with my own feelings and it is hard for me to hide my impressions - even if I am trying not to offend.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

The young man does want to continue to develop their relationship but how does he deal with the lady's fashion trend realizing that handled improperly - it could be a relationship breaker.  In short how can he deal with what he believes is disrespect for temple covenants without alienating the young lady? 
...
- how can we maintain loving relationships when there are conflicts with sacred covenants without encouraging the offending party that their behavior is not okay.  Where is the line that someone crosses before we are willing to say - you should not be doing whatever it is that is not okay.

Wanting to develop a romantic dating relationship is a process of finding out each others' faults, and making conscious choices on what you can accept, what you can't, and what the other is willing to change.  (And vice versa).  So the young man in question figures out whether he'd marry someone who dresses like that, and he either risks a potential breakup by making it an issue, or he accepts it and continues with his relationship.

Maintaining loving relationships can be similar, although the bar tends to be lower.  You can be good friends with someone who does and believes things you don't do or believe.  "You know how I feel about that stuff, but it's not like I have to go home with you, so we're friends even though you do that stuff."  Again, people need to decide where they draw the line.  If you only want to have loving relationships with other active believing LDS, who practice above what you believe is an acceptable level, then that's your call.  Make your decision, let people know, and expect ties to be cut.  

I imagine folks with civility filters, who end up saying more than they want to say via facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, etc, are friends with people who already know that about you, and have decided to remain friends anyway.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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23 hours ago, Anddenex said:

Remember, God accepts all his children for who they are. He has even prepared a place for all his children who choose to live according to "who they are" (naturally) rather than according to who they are spiritually. God accepts his sons and daughters who live a life fit for the Telestial kingdom. God accepts his sons and daughters who want to live a life only for Terrestrial glory.

I believe the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery,
homosexuality, etc) all begin with a personal choice.  Then the person who wishes to maintain
this lifestyle shifts to a belief they were born (or made by God) that way to try to soften any
guilt, pain, or reason to repent.

After reading some passages like Deuteronomy 1:35 and Ezekiel 23, I do not see God accepting
all his children for who they are and however they live their life and then preparing a future place
of glory for such.

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:36 AM, Just_A_Guy said:

We know—the scriptures are abundantly clear—that people can claim spurious, self-serving revelations; either of their own or of satanic invention.  I would submit that such “revelations” are especially common in matters of sexual practice, because sex is such an emotionally fraught topic and so intimately bound up with issues of self-worth and self-justification and so on.  That, I think, is precisely why we are counseled to go to priesthood leaders when we find ourselves entangled in these sorts of issues—because we need that cross-check, that priesthood line of revelation that is relatively immune from the personal drama that we ourselves can’t help but being to the table.

I'm not sure I have what it takes to respond to everything directed at me, but, I think this suffices for a bottom line. It's all about discernment -- how we individually and collectively decide what is right and wrong, Yes, personal revelation is fallible. The priesthood line might be less fraught, but history shows that it is not immune to error. I don't know how to navigate when the two lines of revelation do not come to a unified conclusion. At times, I wonder if God wants individuals to submit to the priesthood line even when it is in error, but other times, that just doesn't feel right, either.

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2 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I'm not sure I have what it takes to respond to everything directed at me, but, I think this suffices for a bottom line. It's all about discernment -- how we individually and collectively decide what is right and wrong, Yes, personal revelation is fallible. The priesthood line might be less fraught, but history shows that it is not immune to error. I don't know how to navigate when the two lines of revelation do not come to a unified conclusion. At times, I wonder if God wants individuals to submit to the priesthood line even when it is in error, but other times, that just doesn't feel right, either.

Also for @Just_A_Guy and others.  We are told in scripture that "everything" has an opposite - or in other words opposition.  I will propose a thought about "sexual" relationships and why there is such differences or opposition.  To begin there is a divine law essential to becoming a "Celestial" being - living Celestial law and becoming "one" with G-d.  This Law we are taught in the temple of G-d and is called the Law of Chastity.  This law is given as commandment to govern two aspects of human relationships that have eternal consequence.  The first defines marriage between a man and a woman under covenant to become "one" flesh.  I will leave the meaning of this to the reader.  The second defines chastity, not as the absents of what we call sexual activity but rather what is divine sexual activity which is that which is shared between a legally married man and woman covenanting together with G-d. 

We are warned over and over again that in opposition to the work and glory (to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man) that it is the work and glory of Satan to bring to pass the immorality and infernal life of man.  I believe word have meaning and one word used to describe Satan is the term slanderer.  To slander is not just to lie to or about someone - to slander is intended to bring harm.  Thus Satan slanders sacred intimacy (sex under covenant of divine marriage) to cause harm to anyone that listens to his slanderous temptations.    I would point out that there is a parallel in science that also discredits elicit sexual tendencies with the scientific term of "unfit" which is opposition to the scientific phrase of "survival of the fittest" in specific reference to  viable "Natural Selection".  In other words science clearly defines what is fit concerning NATURAL SELECTION.

But we have learned that a statement by Brigham Young applies very much to this - he said:  "When personal pleasure is involved, reason is thrown out the window."  Or something to that effect.  I personally have great difficulty in exhibiting love and compassion as opposed to enabling or to some degree - supporting stupidity. 

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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5 hours ago, romans8 said:

I believe the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery,
homosexuality, etc) all begin with a personal choice.  Then the person who wishes to maintain
this lifestyle shifts to a belief they were born (or made by God) that way to try to soften any
guilt, pain, or reason to repent.

After reading some passages like Deuteronomy 1:35 and Ezekiel 23, I do not see God accepting
all his children for who they are and however they live their life and then preparing a future place
of glory for such.

These scriptures tell us a great deal about how God feels about sin; but less about the way God views that eternal value of those who have fallen into those sins or the eternal fate to which Gods sees fit to consign them.

And herein, I think, is perhaps a fundamental philosophical schism between much of mainline Christianity versus Mormonism.  Mormonism sees pain primarily as either 1) the natural and foreseeable result of a being created according to divine light and law (as humankind is) either affirmatively rejecting or being otherwise compelled to exist outside of that divine light and law; or 2) an experience that by its nature is refining and sanctifying and that has the power to convert its sufferer into some one more Christlike.

Mormonism (at least the philosophical  variant of Mormonism to which I subscribe) envisions a God who takes pre-existing, primitive beings and engages them in a refining process whereby they may ultimately become reconciled to Himself to some degree (or else reject Him utterly and be returned from the primordial primitive state from which God raised them in the first place).  To the extent that God causes or permits suffering in this process it is for the purpose of ultimately exalting the sufferer, not Himself.

By contrast, it seems to me that much of mainline Christianity conceptualizes a God who creates humans ex nihilo, planning to reconcile each of them to Himself either in toto or not at all.  But for the recalcitrant who will not be reconciled—rather than simply unmaking what He has made and ending the suffering (which surely an all-powerful God *could* do), He not only keeps them in existence but takes proactive steps to make that existence excruciating and adds physical conditions that enhance the pain and misery thereof.   And all this, not for any ultimately cleansing or redemptive or other altruistic purposes; but because His Own Glory (or, ego?) demands that this must be what happens to those who cross Him.  In this view it’s not that the suffering has to exist now and in eternity because God is to some extent limited in His ability to change the rules of the game—it’s that all this human suffering (especially of His enemies) makes God perceive Himself as being the more glorious.

This second view of God, frankly, is not one that I find particularly appealing.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I don't believe there is really anything you could say, but love him.

@Anddenex I like your simple and yet powerful approach.

“how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”

@Just_A_Guy I was thinking about this when I was reading about LGBTQ+ members dating. My heart goes out to them and yet this very important question remains: Where do you draw the line?

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I’m getting a little confused about these discussions of the natural man and this is the way God created me. I thought that the man that God created in the garden of Eden was a perfect man, and only became a natural man after he fell. This suggests that he became a natural man as a result of his own actions and not as a result of anything that God did. Did God make something that has faults, that is less than perfect? That sounds like a strange thought to me. I suspect that in creating us, God worked with whatever we brought to the table. His part of the process was probably perfect but He was perhaps working with spirit material that was not. I'm not sure if its fair or correct to put the blame on God for being who or what we are. 

Edited by askandanswer

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12 hours ago, romans8 said:

I believe the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery,
homosexuality, etc) all begin with a personal choice.  Then the person who wishes to maintain
this lifestyle shifts to a belief they were born (or made by God) that way to try to soften any
guilt, pain, or reason to repent.

Every decision we make begins with personal choice, and we have agreement that persons will seek to soften guilt, pain, and reasons to repent when it comes to personal lifestyle choices.

12 hours ago, romans8 said:

After reading some passages like Deuteronomy 1:35 and Ezekiel 23, I do not see God accepting
all his children for who they are and however they live their life and then preparing a future place
of glory for such.

The statement I provided doesn't have anything to do with the scriptures you have shared. This would be a semantics argument which aren't really helpful a lot of times. Its OK if you do not see it, and not to be rude; however you tend to not see things that are often plain and clear -- for whatever reason -- which is your personal choice.

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11 hours ago, MrShorty said:

At times, I wonder if God wants individuals to submit to the priesthood line even when we think it is in error, but other times, that just doesn't feel right, either.


The question as you pose it is a toughie, but the question as I’ve modified it represents the scenario we actually face.

And I would agree that from a perspective of evolutionary psychology, it can’t feel right—certainly not in matters of sex, anyways.  The fight/feed/mate responses are governed by the most ancient parts of our brain stem, and if those instincts aren’t being sated there’s likely going to be some measure of discomfort even at the best of times.  But I’ve seen the multigenerational fallout of individual apostasy in my own family; and I’m not about to uproot my entire life (not to mention that of my children and my children’s children) just because my freakin’ amygdala tells me that that’s what I ought to do.

Postmodernism has given “repression” a bad rap, but “repression” is what separates us from the beasts.  And I was reading just the other day that, contra much of 20th Century psychological theory—the latest research so who isn’t that expressing (as opposed to repressing) emotions does not moderate them.  Their very expression allows them to feed into themselves in a way that makes them get stronger and harder to control over time.

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Some thoughts I shared in the other thread:

The "same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." The difference in the celestial kingdom, I believe, is that sexual unity, compatibility, function, and enjoyment between celestial man and wife are are driven by covenant and eternal glory, and not by the capricious mortal factors and dynamics affecting the children of God in a fallen world, the same factors that result in the Church not having a position as to why same-sex attraction is not the norm among the children of God, and the exception than the rule in our mortal probation.

SSA is a factor that often discourages faithful LGBTQ+ members from entering marriage in good faith. Something would have to be done in the plan of happiness to allow them that opportunity to marry the opposite sex. Some can manage it in this life. Some will have to wait until everything is put into proper order and the resurrection sets them into their "proper and perfect frame" and "perfect form". The point I am trying to make is that, while opposite-sex attraction is the norm and facilitates entering the covenant of marriage, "attraction" in this life may not mean the same thing as "attraction" in the next life, and in fact, instead of requiring attraction to motivate us, the desire to give selflessly motivates us. And then of course, he who loses himself finds himself. The D&C replaces "attraction" with "cleaveth": (D&C 88:38-40):

38 And unto every kingdom is given a alaw; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.

39 All beings who abide not in those aconditions are not bjustified.

40 For aintelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; bwisdom receiveth wisdom; ctruth embraceth truth; dvirtue loveth virtue; elight cleaveth unto light; fmercy hath gcompassion on mercy and claimeth her own; hjustice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

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I think it is the fools errand to assume anything for someone else - especially anything of malicious nature.  We are given revelation and inspiration to apply to ourselves.  If (assume yourself or in my case -- me) are involved in the attraction towards something harmful to our eternal salvation - how would I like them to address their love and concern towards me that I do not error in thinking it work out for my good.  For myself this is not hard to imagine.  During my life experiences I have been attracted (tempted) to do a great many things contrary to my actual benefit.  I must admit that when I know the better of it and still choose otherwise - that it is a real annoyance  and bother to be reminded.  Sadly it can even make me angry.  However, if I am clueless have not encountered that it is a problem - I deem it helpful to encounter a "second opinion".

I have also discovered that when I know I am correct in my understanding - should someone attempt to correct me - I do not consider it my problem.  Rather I consider that the other opinion is ether uninformed or uninterested in truth.  And as I said - neither of which is my problem.  In short whatever makes someone angry is a problem they alone can solve.  If we ever approach someone in anger with revenge - it is you that is the problem.

There is a great book I read as a kid titled "Thunder Cave".  Sadly this book is today out of print and banned in many places as racists.  But there is in the book a pome about "an owl sitting in a tree saying please pity me please pity me."  The owl become quite upset and angry when they do not get the pity they deserve and of course blames all those that do not participate in the pity.  

I guess the golden rule is to treat others as you would have them treat you. but the great problem is understanding how other interoperate why you treat them what you think is honest compassion.

 

The Traveler

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On 1/22/2022 at 10:28 PM, Anddenex said:

The statement I provided doesn't have anything to do with the scriptures you have shared.

You said in a prior post "Remember, God accepts all his children for who they are. He has even prepared a place
for all his children who choose to live according to "who they are" (naturally) rather than according to who they
are spiritually. God accepts his sons and daughters who live a life fit for the Telestial kingdom. God accepts his
sons and daughters who want to live a life only for Terrestrial glory
.

I do not see Deuteronomy 1:35 and Ezekiel 23 reflecting those people going to a future place of glory.

Maybe this helps explain what I wrote.

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On 1/22/2022 at 2:20 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

By contrast, it seems to me that much of mainline Christianity conceptualizes a God who creates humans ex nihilo, planning to reconcile each of them to Himself either in toto or not at all.  But for the recalcitrant who will not be reconciled—rather than simply unmaking what He has made and ending the suffering (which surely an all-powerful God *could* do), He not only keeps them in existence but takes proactive steps to make that existence excruciating and adds physical conditions that enhance the pain and misery thereof.   And all this, not for any ultimately cleansing or redemptive or other altruistic purposes; but because His Own Glory (or, ego?) demands that this must be what happens to those who cross Him.  In this view it’s not that the suffering has to exist now and in eternity because God is to some extent limited in His ability to change the rules of the game—it’s that all this human suffering (especially of His enemies) makes God perceive Himself as being the more glorious.

This second view of God, frankly, is not one that I find particularly appealing.

What do you mean by a God who creates humans ex nihilo?

I find it hard to grapple with the mercy of God and his judgment. Especially when I read the parable
about final outcome for the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31.

God does not desire suffering or wickedness, but he has allowed it to happen. It all originated with
the fall.

Edited by romans8

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2 hours ago, romans8 said:

What do you mean by a God who creates humans ex nihilo?

I find it hard to grapple with the mercy of God and his judgment. Especially when I read the parable
about final outcome for the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31.

God does not desire suffering or wickedness, but he has allowed it to happen. It all originated with
the fall.

For me the logic of mercy and justice is very easy to understand if one understands and includes repentance in their equation.   There can only be repentance if there is sorrow for sin.  If one is sorrowful how can there be justice without mercy?  How can there be sorrow unless there was a choice the we made and did not understand and once we understood better were sorry.  Having learned sorrow and determined better how can there be justice without mercy?

But there is a problem with the claim that G-d is just if G-d created man from nothing (which is the meaning of ex nihilo creation.  It would mean that the differences in individuals is something that G-d created and therefore G-d is ultimately responsible for what He alone created without any other input but his whim.  In all the discussions I have had with those the hold to religious notions (except the Saints of G-d in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) I have yet to hear a "logical" answer that explains the justice of the many human individuals born to different circumstances if there was nothing of an individual before their conception and nothing to continue after their death.  Without a pre-existence before birth and a post existence after death - one one can claim that justice even exists.  If man is not co-eternal with G-d then there is no justice in any of the creation of this universe that I have encountered.  

The ultimate purpose of mercy is that agency exists and that we choose light or darkness.  If G-d grants our agency then our suffering is our choice.  Otherwise I do not understand why anyone would worship a G-d that makes slaves of us to his whim and our circumstance is not in any way our choice.   I am open to any discussion to help me understand any alternative. 

 

The Traveler

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6 hours ago, romans8 said:

[1]What do you mean by a God who creates humans ex nihilo?

I find it hard to grapple with the mercy of God and his judgment. Especially when I read the parable
about final outcome for the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31.

[2]God does not desire suffering or wickedness, but he has allowed it to happen. It all originated with
the fall.

1.  A god who brings mankind from a state of non-being into a state of being.  

2.  But herein lies the conundrum.  It seems difficult to label as “omnipotent” a god who has the power to create, but not to destroy his own creation.  Can God end the useless sufferings of the eternally rebellious by terminating their existence?

—If He can’t destroy them, whether because He is bound by some law/concept prohibiting this or because at some level their existence is physically independent of His ownI’m actually on board with that; but much of the traditional Christian criticisms of the Mormon view of the godhead revolve around the idea that we Mormons contemplate a God who by being subject to moral and/or natural law in fact fails to be perfectly sovereign/omnipotent.

—If He can destroy them—then it follows that He just prefers not to, because that state of eternal torment is just the way He wants it to be.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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14 hours ago, romans8 said:

You said in a prior post "Remember, God accepts all his children for who they are. He has even prepared a place
for all his children who choose to live according to "who they are" (naturally) rather than according to who they
are spiritually. God accepts his sons and daughters who live a life fit for the Telestial kingdom. God accepts his
sons and daughters who want to live a life only for Terrestrial glory
.

I do not see Deuteronomy 1:35 and Ezekiel 23 reflecting those people going to a future place of glory.

Maybe this helps explain what I wrote.

I understood what you wrote, that isn't the issue. That's fine you don't have to see it reflecting anything. I wasn't quoting or referencing the scriptures you shared.

Edited by Anddenex

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On 1/29/2022 at 1:59 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

1.  A god who brings mankind from a state of non-being into a state of being.  

2.  But herein lies the conundrum.  It seems difficult to label as “omnipotent” a god who has the power to create, but not to destroy his own creation.  Can God end the useless sufferings of the eternally rebellious by terminating their existence?

—If He can’t destroy them, whether because He is bound by some law/concept prohibiting this or because at some level their existence is physically independent of His ownI’m actually on board with that; but much of the traditional Christian criticisms of the Mormon view of the godhead revolve around the idea that we Mormons contemplate a God who by being subject to moral and/or natural law in fact fails to be perfectly sovereign/omnipotent.

—If He can destroy them—then it follows that He just prefers not to, because that state of eternal torment is just the way He wants it to be.

I logically am confused why anyone would think that there is a difference between "I will not" and "I can not".  For whatever difference one congers up - the result remains forever the same.

 

The Traveler

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On 1/29/2022 at 3:59 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

1.  A god who brings mankind from a state of non-being into a state of being.  

2.  But herein lies the conundrum.  It seems difficult to label as “omnipotent” a god who has the power to create, but not to destroy his own creation.  Can God end the useless sufferings of the eternally rebellious by terminating their existence?

I view Jesus as God, not a god.  For god, I would apply the term given to Satan, Moses, and
some judges (2 Corinthians 4:4, Exodus 7:1, Psalm 82:1-8).

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2 hours ago, romans8 said:

I view Jesus as God, not a god.  For god, I would apply the term given to Satan, Moses, and
some judges (2 Corinthians 4:4, Exodus 7:1, Psalm 82:1-8).

Perhaps.  But for the purposes of this particular discussion, I’m less concerned about whether the word “God” should be capitalized than about whether the Being represented by that word is a sociopath.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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