Sunday, October 03, 2010

Trying to Call Hateful Acts Love

I was at General Conference for the priesthood session downtown yesterday, and rather than fight with the anti's before hand, I saw Van Hale, and he suggested I visit the Church History Museum, which I did. They have some great items on exhibit.

I then went to Priesthood in the Tabernacle, and spoke with a few folks afterwards, and went to my soccer game.

Nothing really remarkable. But I was struck by the hate speech of Lonnie and others, which they attempt to justify as Christian love for the lost, and a defense of the Christian faith.

So first, let's define the word "Defense". It means to protect. No one can misconstrue the difference between national defense, for example, and an act of war. Putting up walls around your castle did not mean you were marching on your enemies' castles. It is pure "future speak" to call war a defense.

No one can read my columns and say "Bob is anti-Catholic". Or anti-Protestant, or Anti-Evangelical. I would concede I border on anti-TULIP, simply because I write very pointedly of their differences to the LDS faith.

I am definitely "anti-anti", that is, I have no qualms engaging specific individuals arguments. I do not believe I engage in Ad Hominem attacks against the critics as a means of argumentation. To be specific, I don't say "Shawn McCraney is a liar about everything, so his arguments against the Church are obviously wrong." No, I describe his specific arguments, and show where they are wrong, and as with some writers I have engaged, I will point out things which I believe can be observed as so obviously in error, they are either lying or too ignorant to be taken seriously.

But even these conversations I attempt to do in a civil manner, as any viewing of my interactions with anti-Mormons on Youtube clearly illustrate.

So back to the unChristian protesters at Temple Square. What can we say about them? They have objects which in LDS religious settings are considered religiously important. Priesthood clothing articles, the Book of Mormon, pictures of LDS leaders or religious vignettes. And they mock them all.

Paul noted that a Pastor must have a good reputation with the non-believers (1Tim 3:7). Since Shawn McCraney, for example, claims to be a pastor, such a claim does not hold up to even basis scrutiny. Nor upon a deeper review, owing to his own public admission of having committed the physical act of adultery against his marriage, and his acknowledge ongoing issues around committing adultery in his heart. He can certainly be a disciple of Christ, but such actions, I believe, disqualify him to be a Pastor.

Lonnie Purciful likewise claims to be a pastor. REALLY! If Shawn McCraney is disqualified as a pastor, Lonnie is literally a thousand times worse. His attacks against LDS and non-LDS alike place him outside of Christianity. In fact, his approach is really one which defines him as the arbiter of the definition of what is "Truth". He rejects most other non-LDS Christians, and so has managed to marginalize his importance in the efforts at conversion away from any faith he attacks.

In other words, as rude, uncivil and mean-spirited as Lonnie and his group is, they do fulfill prophecy. They are they who believe no one can teach them anything, and are comfortable acting as the persecutors of the humble who simply love God and seek to live a life in conformity to the teachings of God.

We should love Lonnie, and thank him. Many, many people have joined the LDS Church because of people like Lonnie. Their persecution of the LDS faith provides the context for us to defend our faith. And people see the difference between sharing what you believe, and ignorantly attacking what you don't believe.

We should contend for the Faith. We should attack no other faith.

Joseph Smith asked which church he should join, and was told to join none, for they were all in error. Were that not the case, the Restoration would not be necessary. So too Jesus established His Church because the Jewish faith had gone astray. So back through time. That Jesus felt the Jews were people in error within his faith is clear from his continued attendance and involvement with the Jewish faith. Though the Jews eventually through the Christians out, the Christians still feel brotherhood to the Jews.

So to the LDS. We share a common heritage of faith. While we acknowledge our brothers to have significant errors because of their not having the light of prophetic leadership, we still view them as brothers and sisters in Christ. There was no Trinitarian test of faith to know Jesus of the Gospels and the Bible.

And like those early Christians, Mormons are rejected by those brothers, and persecuted for daring to point out where the primitive faith was corrupted and is now restored. There is no anti-Catholic or anti-Protestant "ministries" in the LDS Church. Period. It is a sign of which faith is true.

Likewise, the fact that "Christians" will defend Lonnie and Shawn and others as legitimate expressions of Christian outreaches, shows all of those groups to actually not be "Christian" by the simplest of definitions. They don't follow Christ's or the Biblical model of evangelizing those outside their faith. And they don't do it with respect and meekness (1Pet 3:15-16).

So we invite you to come learn of Christ with us. We reject the hateful speech, actions and evil spirit carried by such. The contrast between Good and Evil is obvious.


Neal Rappleye said...

Good article. I made a similar point on my own blog about what it means to "defend" yourself and how anti-Mormon conduct simply does not qualify as a "defense."

Check it out:

Alan said...

A point of clarification. Shawn McCraney IS an ordained pastor of the Gospel, doesn't just 'claim to be.' Pastor McCraney certainly fits the proviso in 1Tim 3:7, having an excellent reputation outside of his flock. If you LDS don't care for his hard-hitting but loving ministry to you as lost cult members, does that surprise anyone? Where in the *Bible* has anyone initially loved being shown the error of their ways? Doing so makes Pastor McCraney PRO-Mormon. Your not seeing that doesn't make it any less true. Many Christians pray for the LDS daily.

Bob said...

Mr. McCraney is obviously a pastor to a group of non-Christian followers. Seriously, you claim he has "an excellent reputation outside the flock"? The guy uses degrading terms about both the members and leaders of the LDS faith. Moreover, he seriously couldn't lead a Mormon anywhere except to hell, since he doesn't preach the Bible accurately.

Lastly, he is a self-admitted adulterer. Did you read the part about being a husband of one wife? He acknowledges that even relatively recently he has developed lustful feelings for women other than his wife. I am sorry, but if you think all this still falls within your definition of Biblical "Pastor", you are absolutely right: I am not a Christian like you.

Neal, good points.

Vincent said...

You know what, I enjoy the comment moderating feature on some of the youtube videos. It really helps the people that simply glaze over information and comments to really only get one point of view and opinion out regarding the discussion. That's a cute little feature.

Alright, I can see you like to look at people based on their qualifications. "Oh, look at Shawn, look at how much of a sinner he is, so he's disqualified from being anyone that holds a title of teacher or preacher or pastor".

Really? That's your argument? What are you trying to say? That people in the LDS Church are now sinless? You're saying that you yourself, no longer sin as well? You think it's wrong for people to come out and openly say that they are a sinner? What is Shawn hiding? Nothing. What are you hiding my friend? Lust, defined by Jesus Christ, is an adulterous act. Mormons are so quick to say they've never lusted after anyone. me the basis of your qualifications for Joseph Smith being a prophet of Jesus. Was Joseph Smith a sinner? Does that disqualify him? Shawn has no problem committing to everyone about his problems with sin. Nor do I. But you're saying, since he sins, he is disqualified from being able to preach the Word of God. Pastors are disqualified if they sin? That argument is a joke! I can't believe you would say something like that. Do you believe that Joseph Smith acted without sin, from the time that he received his first vision, to the moment that he died?

Vincent said...

Shawn speaks the word of God, as you can clearly see throughout his shows. He compares the Mormon doctrine, with the Word of God. He has more faith in Christ, than he ever did with Joseph Smith, or his doctrines. I have no idea how you can watch his professing of the Lord and the scriptures, and say this man is not qualified. You are not sinless. Stop trying to pretend that you are. Monson is not sinless, don't try to pretend he's not. Shawn is not sinless, and he doesn't try to pretend that he's not. God bless the fact that he's honest and straightforward regarding his sin.

As far as not attacking other's faith. There's just no possible way to not do so. You go out there with a message, and that message should be the Word of God. Not everyone is going to agree with it, and some people are going to try to change it. You are out there to change people, and that means going against what they believe. Joseph Smith said that all other creeds were an abomination in his sight. You attack people silently, and then try to play it off like everything is all nice. Sorry, I've read the works of your prophet, and I know that's an attack against everyone that is not LDS. As it should be. That's a belief. Now I'm going to show you why I think you're wrong.

And I don't believe everyone that claims to be a Christian, goes about that the right way, or most effective way. I believe Shawn's method, is the most effective way. And it really has led people to Christ. And he does it out of love. You can disagree with people, and still love them. You can hate what they believe and still love them. God loves his creation. Does he love all the things that they do? No, He sent His son to preach to the people, and to die for their sins.

You go out and you say Shawn is not of God, and he's not acting like a Christian should; how is that not attacking? Aren't you doing right there what you claim to be against? I think you should argue what you believe, and do so while preaching the scriptures of the Lord, which is the Word of God.

Anyways, that's pretty much all I wanted to say regarding your post.

Bob said...

I use comment moderation only for the purpose of preventing advertising from getting onto the blog. I have never prevented any comment about Mormonism, critical or otherwise, from being published. I saw that one of your comments got routed to the Spam box for some reason, but you republished it twice, and so your comment has been published. Normally I look at the Spam box as well, and have published every comment I have found there.

Sorry if you think I am control information flow. I am not. I like publishing the comments from all views, as I find the ones attacking the LDS faith are so illustrative of a closed, unstudied and hypocritical mindset, and are therefore among the most valuable to publish, for people to see how the ideas compare. This is afterall the free marketplace of ideas.


Bob said...


To a degree I agree with your perspective that any assertion of a need to change or correct something must therefore imply so other person or organization is in error, or at least in need of change.

Therefore Joseph Smith comes off as asserting that God wants to restore his faith, and the preachers take that as an attack.

It gets even more complicated when two groups both assert ownership of the ideas within scripture. Latter-day Saints believe in continuing revelation, so they claim divine inspiration in doctrinal purity. Like the Christians of Acts 15, without any appeal to the authority of scripture to change the doctrines related to changing the requirements to live the Law of Moses and circumcision, so likewise Mormons claim inspiration which "seemeth good to the holy Ghost and to us" (Acts 15:28). Something which no modern "Christian" sect can or does claim. The claim in Acts 15 became scripture.

Scripture which superseded previous scripture. In other words, modern revelation is precedent to ancient.

As for Shawn McCraney's qualifications as a pastor, I am simply pointing out that the book he claims as the standard for judging the qualifications of a pastor disallow Mr. McCraney. Now, if his band of "Bible believing Christians" chooses to ignore the Bible, that is their right and privilege. But they shouldn't be shocked that attempting to paint black as white is observed by those they then attack as lacking conformity with the Bible.

Lastly, the difference between methods of sharing the Gospel is hardly a disagreement of nuance. It is fundamentally different. Early Christians "preached Jesus". They did not even bother to "contrast Jesus with idols" or anything else. They preached Jesus, and God gave the increase (1 Cor 1:17, 3:7) See Acts 5:42, 17:3; 2 Cor 4:5; Col 1:28.

Notice particularly 2 Cor 4:5: "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord". Wouldn't it be great to not hear Shawn tell us as his source of authority "I was a Mormon for 40 years"? Could it be any clearer that his gospel is the good news about himself? Sorry, but I find nothing Biblical in Shawn's arguments. When confronted, he yells at those who question him. This is not 1 Pet 3:15-16.

Thanks for the comments,

Weston Krogstadt said...

Cool blog, keep up the good fight.

Bob said...

There was an attempted anonymous comment by an individual which was insulting to Mormons in general. I deleted the comment, based primarily on the anonymous nature of the comment, but also because there is no real point in posting three-word comments designed solely at insulting anyone. Intellectual exchanges in the market place of ideas I am OK with. Insults because someone doesn't have the wherewithal to defend their ideas, not so much.

Thought I would let everyone know, since recently I have been accused of editing comments I disagree with. No true. I even post stupid comments from myself and others. But civility was really the point of this particular blog post, so maybe the person was trying to be ironic. Somehow I am guessing that is a level of intellect which escapes them.

Weston Krogstadt said...

I'm waiting for your next post:)

Bob said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I started a new company, and we are swamped at the moment. I will try to come up with something soon.