McCraney really got upset when Ed pointed out he had been excommunicated for sexual transgression. Normally, because he was married at the time, we would call that adultery. McCraney responded "Yes", and then said he had also been excommunicated for apostasy and excessive pharmaceutical use. In his book, McCraney "asked" to be excommunicated, saying he had always considered himself "an egregious sinner". He also noted he wanted excommunication and deserved it, and would accept no other response, even though he had people around him saying he should ask for leniency.
Well, first of all, as a high priest, former bishopric member and former high council member, there was NO CHANCE he was NOT go to be excommunicated. None. So his positioning of himself as taking responsibility and demanding excommunication is pure sophistry in my opinion.
Next, his response to Ed shows how little he seems to have learned. Funny thing about Shawn and sin: He never met a sin he seems to regret. He seems totally oblivious to Paul's teaching on how grace works:
"Shall we continue in sin that grace shall abound? God Forbid." (Romans 6:1-2).
Paul specifically notes that sorrow brings about salvation ONLY through repentance, which is the complete change of mind, including hating the action you previously did:
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Cor 7:10)
We see how Shawn wants to show that of course everyone continues to sin after this fashion, because he then asks Ed if he ever lusts after women, which is to commit adultery in his heart as the scripture says. Ed says no, a position McCraney finds unbelievable.
I thought a lot about McCraney's assertions. I don't personally lust after anyone except my wife, and I cannot recall a time when I did. I feel sorry for people who commit such sins, and their families for the impact it has on them. Ed is a good man. I often think of these statements:
nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days. 1 Kgs 15:14
9 Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Gen 6:9
¶ THERE was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Job 1:1
6 And [Zacharias and Elizabeth] were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Luke 1:6
The problem, of course, is Evangelicals put so much incorrect emphasis on a single passage quoted by Paul in Romans, they can't understand the role people are capable of in this life when assisted by the Spirit:
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Rom 3:10-12
I want to point out that Paul then spends 6 more chapters walking us through why any sin makes us unable to save ourselves, but that now all mankind has been saved (Romans 5:18), but they retain that salvation ONLY upon obedience to the commandments of God (Romans 6:16-23)(BTW, sorry for all you Evangelicals who don't like to actually read all of Romans to cite such a long quotation showing Paul is all about personal obedience. It makes reading this blog much more difficult for some.).
Paul essentially harmonizes the idea that there is none righteous because a single sin disqualifies us from saving ourselves, BUT, if we exercise faith, as all of those examples demonstrate, then we too can be "perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48)
So now, we come to conclusion time: Who should be believe? The guy who entertains us each week with his self-deprecating false doctrine, or the scriptures and Latter-day prophets who sustain the most basic teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Believe, repent and baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16)
Either Shawn does not feel he needs to repent, or he does not feel he can repent. Either way, his attack on Ed was badly placed. Ed was merely restating New Testament scripture of the qualifications of a pastor:
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1Tim 3:2-7)Isn't it funny how just quoting scripture to someone can get them so upset.
Let me know what you think.
BTW, I have heard some rumor about the age of the woman with whom Shawn committed adultery. I think there may have been a pretty substantial age difference, which then makes his comments about polygamy all the more telling, since for him, it apparently was all about the sex and not the pricipal. More to the point, if Shawn does not believe committing adultery is something which is to be repented of, i.e., hated and never done again, even in one's heart, how can he even remotely blame Joseph Smith for at least having the pretense of marriage?