h1

Things I’m glad that Jesus didn’t say…

December 17, 2007

…but are said by supposed ‘Christians’ all the time.

by the narrator.

I don’t think traditional Christians are any more mean than LDS-Christians. For a group that calls themselves Christians (and a group that so badly wants to be called Christians), I’d sure wish they’d be a little more Christ-like. Anyways, here are a few claims that I often here from these so-called Christians that I’m sure glad Jesus didn’t say.

On abortion:

“You have to deal with the consequences of your actions!”

On poverty:

“They put themselves in that situation.”

“You shouldn’t get anything unless you work for it.”

On the death penalty:

“People should be punished for their actions.”

“That person should suffer for what they did.”

On immigration:

“Freeloader!”

On healthcare:

“You need to pay for that.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow. I took a break from writing this to go to my single ward’s family home evening. There was a great lesson given on charity, but somehow a few guys somehow managed to derail the lesson into a discussion about how they sometimes wish certain people would die. Not only were several of the lines above given, but some of the other popular phrases of Christians were also thrown out. “If they are innocent, then God will fix it in the next life.” “Those sick people deserve to die.” “Justice has to be served.” “They don’t deserve to live.” I don’t think I have ever felt so saddened and sickened in a church meeting before. Had I driven myself, I probably would have walked out and gone home.

I sometimes wonder if the Christianity I love and embrace is the same of those of my peers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If Jesus shared this attitude, there would have been no atonement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So anyways…. what are your favorite lines of Christians that you are glad Jesus did not say?

27 comments

  1. I think that what saddens me the most, is that the idea of consecration has changed from caring for our neighbors to be loyal to the Church. I do believe in the Church, but it troubles me to hear people say these kinds of things.

    I work with children who in all likelihood will be incarcerated at some point in their life. If any of your friends were to read the backgrounds and what these kids have been through and then were to consider what Jesus really said, and not the rhetoric of conservatives who claim to be Christian, perhaps they would change the tune of their song.


    • If Jesus said He who is without sin throw the first stone, these “christains” would be stoning her to death!


  2. what are your favorite lines of Christians that you are glad Jesus did not say?

    “If you don’t like the way things are in the Church, then you should just leave!”


  3. Considering the gospel is for the sick, not the well (or perfect), what are these holier-than-thou folks doing here (at church) in the first place?! Go home and let the rest of us sickies look after each other and ease each others burdens and practice forgiveness with one another! ;o)


  4. Before I start, I would like to say that I don’t condone anything those members said. It’s most definitely sad that those ideas exist and permeate the culture.
    With that being said, Narrator, you are hardly in a position to be condemning them for not being Christ-like. Wasn’t it just a few months ago on your blog you who was ridiculing someone from your youth for smelling like poo? I must have misssed that sermon from the savior.
    We all have our weaknesses and shortcomings, but for you to condemn them and be so critical of the church so consistently is hardly Christ-like. Rather than bringing such negativity regarding this, why not approach it from an angle to help? Why not reference us to particular sermons of Christ or conference talks? We all need help becoming more like Christ and as such should help one another, not condemn and criticize. It should be our goal to inspire our peers to do good, not enfuriate or belittle.
    Also, it seems that one large teaching of the lord is that ‘contention is of the devil’. After following your blog and comments for a while I have noticed a definite air of contention whenever someone disagrees with you. Why bring such negativity to these discussions? Please be more mature and respectful of those with differing beliefs.
    Now, in regards to the attitude of many conservatives in this country, I honestly feel that many would be much softer in their approach to these issues if they were to feel the emotion and struggles from the perspective of those involved. I believe as we volunteer to serve them in whatever capacity, i.e. soup kitchens, homeless shelters, church missions, etc, that our hearts and minds will be opened to the spirit and the Lord will help us to behave as he would desire us to be.
    My children recently rented Les Miserables, and while watching it with them I was so moved by the attitude and actions of Jean Valjean. It reminded me of my days way back in college when I read Victor Hugo for the first time. It is a very moving example of the power of love.
    If we truly want to change the world, there are two ways to do it. First, begin living that way ourselves and lead by example, not condemning others. Remember the old saying, actions speak louder than words (I don’t know you personally Narrator but the actions from your personal blog speak volumes). Second, just like the Ensign article this month by Pres. Hinckley, we can teach our children the correct principles so that they can also go out and make the world a better place. It is so easy to tear down and destroy (i.e. entropy), but requires much more effort to build up and construct. We should make it our goal to build up and improve that which surrounds us.


  5. I know this is extremely cliche, but the biggest reason people are biggots and say those things that you heard at the activity is because of ignorance. Most of the time (not all) people would have a different stance if they only knew what was really going on. I served my mission in Hermosillo, Mexico and live and worked in the border town of Nogales for my final 5 months. My eyes were opened so mucher wider to the problems of immigration than I had ever even imagined. If people only knew what went on, why they choose to cross the border, and come to the United States, there would be much less hate and discrimination.
    Even now I work very frequently with Hispanic immigrants providing them with health care. To see them and hear their problems breaks my heart. I agree with Travis, what we truly need is less hate, and much more empathy and compassion.


  6. Uhm – in regards to having to deal with the consequences of our actions, I have to disagree with you. Scripture seems to indicate that we stand accountable before God for what we think, do, and say. Also, there is indication that we will suffer for those sins that we have committed. However, I get the point you’re trying to make, about how we shouldn’t be so judgemental about others, and in that case, I agree, even if I don’t necessarily agree with your examples.


  7. Travis,

    I’ve sure got skeletons in my closet, don’t I? I am well aware of the mote in my eye. I’m well aware of my failings. I do things that are wrong. I’m weak. I’m not perfect. I know that I don’t live up to the standard of love that Christ taught.

    The difference is that I know that I’m wrong. I know very well that I am often a hypocrite. I don’t live up to my criticisms. I don’t walk the talk. I know. However, these professed Christians and LDS-Christians do these things in the name of Christ. They believe that God is behind their attitude.

    Yeah, I need to work on my rhetoric. Perhaps if anything, I’m the mean one.

    Cody,

    One of the most profound pieces on abortion I have ever read was by a Catholic theologian who had once been a strong opponent of abortion. He decided to one day really try to understand the plights of those who are considering abortions and began visiting abortion clinics. It was a powerful piece. However, my experience has also taught me that many ‘Christians’ will not even try to empathize with others… but I guess that’s just a normal part of the human condition.


  8. Jacob,

    If I recall correctly, Jesus’ atonement made it so that we would not have to suffer consequences for our sins. That’s my understanding.


  9. Narrator

    If I recall correctly, Jesus’ atonement made it so that we would not have to suffer ‘THE FULL’ consequences for our sins.

    If I recall correctly, Satans’ plan made it so that we would not have to suffer ANY consequences for our sins.

    That’s my understanding.


  10. I agree with the narrator. In Mormonism we have a tendency to downplay the fact that we all need grace and that none of us, no matter how good we are, wants to stand before the full brunt of God’s justice. Christ’s sacrifice made it possible for him to stand between us and judgment so that we would not have to suffer the full consequences of sin which would mean being forever separated from God. I we paid more attention to the scriptures, and believed them, this is what we see.


  11. The only problem i have with what the Narrator wrote is that it seems that he is attempting to align Christ’s teachings with one particular political group. In each of his listed quotes, anyone could easily come up with statements that “Jesus didn’t say” that would align his teachings with the other extreme.


  12. ryOWN,

    then you can have your Jesus who is still going to have you suffer. I’ll have my Jesus who took on all my suffering for me.

    Belva,

    I won’t deny that I find Jesus to support my political views. However, that was not my intent. Rather I think the attitudes projected in these statements by ‘Christians’ go against the very heart of Christ’s message and atonement. My point was contained in the second to last line: If Jesus had the attitude of these ‘Christians’ there would have been no atonement.


  13. Loyd, I read this post and am left scratching my head. I’m going to be honest here. I am still stinging from the things you said to me yesterday at BCC and here last week, and also by how flippant you were about it all. A part of me was tempted to quote you in answer to your own question here (what lines you are glad the Savior would never say), but in the end, my desire is not to battle with you. I appreciate the fact that we are all imperfect, and appreciated what you said in response to Travis above. But there is sometimes such a stark contrast between your declared beliefs and your behavior and reaction to others’ thoughts and feelings and beliefs that it’s hard for me (and others) to hear beyond the way you act. I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you haven’t given much for me to go on lately. I’d appreciate something to work with, bro. I don’t think anyone expects perfection by any means, but a little brotherly kindness and respect would go a long way.

    I’m sorry for whatever I have done to offend you along the way. That has not been my intention. I would like to feel like I can share my thoughts and feelings and beliefs, however, without you jumping in to mock and criticize. I think everyone deserves the chance to express points of view, even differing points of view, without fear of such retaliation. Does that seem like a reasonable request?


  14. m&m,

    I have nothing against you personally. I do feel bad about how caustic I can be at times. There really is no excuse. And you really don’t deserve it (well nobody does, but you especially don’t deserve it). Over the last few months I’ve become frustrated at some of the attitudes of people in the Church who have left, not just myself, but several of my friends in a lot of pain. Every time a friend comes to me and tells me that they don’t know if they can go to church again, I am hurt. It’s hard enough feeling that way, but it’s even harder to see people I care about going through the same struggles. I get e-mails from complete strangers voicing these same feelings to me. I hate it.

    Deep inside, I’m just a teddy bear that wants to be hugged. Unfortunately this teddy bear also has a cynical nature with sharp teeth that could definitely use some filing down.

    For some reason (and I admit it), I’ve been extra ‘bitey’ with you. Initially, I think it was because you seemed to epitomize those whose attitudes have caused pain to myself and others. However, that’s not the case. I can’t even say that you share those same beliefs (you definitely are no Connor). You are too nice, too sweet, too caring, and too all those other things to deserve the way I have treated you.

    You have a beautiful (and probably not as simple as it may seem) testimony. While at the core I’m sure we have a shared testimony; on the periphery, we have testimonies of different things. Because of that, discussion is difficult. I have real concerns with the Church, the leadership, and the implementation of the Gospel, as do others who contribute on this and other blogs. You don’t share those concerns. That’s fine. However, because of your testimony (or because of your uber-positive outlook) you don’t seem to acknowledge that others can have those concerns. It often seems like that for you the Church is divinely structured in such a way that it is impossible for anything to happen that should cause real concerns for any of its member – and that if any were to have concerns, the problem must obviously lie with them, and not with the Church.

    Typically discussions with you seem to follow this pattern:

    person with concern: “I think that X is wrong or problematic.”
    m&m: “The Church and it’s leaders are called of God, so there is no problem with X. In fact, I think X is so great.”
    person with concern: “But what about this and this and this about X?”
    m&m: “The Church and it’s leaders are called of God, so there is no problem with X. In fact, I think X is so great.”

    I was definitely wrong in the way that I responded to you. I should listen to myself more often and strive to be more Christlike in the way that I treat others. I apologize.

    I just ask that you sometimes recognize that the people you are discussing with have testimonies of the Gospel too and that those testimonies, while maybe different than yours, are just as real, powerful, and authentic as your own. And like your testimony, these testimonies are fundamental to them; and because of their testimonies, the issues and concerns they bring up are very real. So when somebody simply responds to them with a “well I have a testimony that you are wrong” response, it doesn’t help.

    Again, I’m sorry for the caustic way in which I have responded to you. I promise that I am going to try harder to be more gentle (you are probably the fifth or sixth person in the last couple weeks to point this out to me).


  15. Narrator

    If you’ve never suffered for your sins – then you’ve never repented. Reread the story of Alma the younger. He suffered GREATLY before Christ allowed his atonement to take effect. If Christ truly took ALL the suffering as you suppose then why did Alma the younger lie about his experience while unconscious for three days?

    That’s one example; I can think of dozens more. What is the “backing” behind your belief that the atonement does away with any and all suffering.


  16. Just an addition to the threadjack:

    D&C 19:16-17
    For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I…


  17. ryOWN,

    I think you and Loyd are talking around each other here. There are different kinds of suffering, and different reasons for them. I think that our suffering and Christ’s atonement were different not only in degree, but ontologically–different in kind.


  18. Biv

    You’re missing an important aspect to that scripture. Elder Oaks gave a great talk about this very subject in the July 1992 Ensign. I’ll include some of the talk below.

    …Let us recall two scriptures: (1) “Repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment” (Alma 42:16); and (2) the Savior said that he had suffered these things for all, “that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I” (D&C 19:16–17).

    This obviously means that the unrepentant transgressor must suffer for his own sins. Does it also mean that a person who repents does not need to suffer at all because the entire punishment is borne by the Savior? That cannot be the meaning because it would be inconsistent with the Savior’s other teachings. What is meant is that the person who repents does not need to suffer “even as” the Savior suffered for that sin. Sinners who are repenting will experience some suffering, but because of their repentance and the Atonement, they will not experience the full, “exquisite” extent of eternal torment the Savior suffered.

    President Spencer W. Kimball, who gave such comprehensive teachings on repentance and forgiveness, said that personal suffering “is a very important part of repentance. One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. … If a person hasn’t suffered, he hasn’t repented.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, pp. 88, 99.)

    The Savior taught this principle when he said that his atoning sacrifice was for “all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” (2 Ne. 2:7.) The repentant sinner who comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit has been through a process of personal pain and suffering for sin. He understands the meaning of Alma’s statement that “none but the truly penitent are saved.” (Alma 42:24.)

    Bruce C. Hafen has described how some people look “for shortcuts [to repentance] and easy answers, thinking that quick confessions or breezy apologies alone are enough.” (The Broken Heart, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989, p. 150.) President Kimball said, “Very frequently people think they have repented and are worthy of forgiveness when all they have done is to express sorrow or regret at the unfortunate happening.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 87.) There is a big difference between the “godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance” (2 Cor. 7:10), which involves personal suffering, and the easy and relatively painless sorrow for being caught, or the misplaced sorrow Mormon described as “the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Morm. 2:13)…

    Latter-day Guy – You’re probably right. The Narrator and I do that a lot. We tend to argue the same point from different angles. Sadly I don’t see it until after our discussion.


  19. Loyd,
    Thank you for your response. It meant a lot.

    FWIW, I can understand your pain and frustration, and I send your inner teddy bear a hug.

    And I hope you know that I do care about those people who hurt, too. I also realize (one of the key lessons for me from my ‘nacle experience) that everyone’s spriitual journey looks a little different. I just think sometimes negativity feeds on itself and feeds the pain, ya know? And I worry about people reading and thinking this is always the fruit of the gospel and being a member. I have wanted people to see that not everyone struggles, because often the struggle and pain gets the attention. (Does that make sense?) I’m not trying to negate that struggle and pain, just add a different voice to the discussion.

    That said, for the record, I’m sorry if and when my comments make it sound like I don’t care or am not aware.

    So, let’s make a deal. We’ll both keep trying to be aware of others in our discussions. (This is an ongoing process, no?) And if there is ever a time when you feel I might need a little awareness or reminder, just drop me a gentle email. mulling_and_musing at hotmail g’ com. I really do care, and I really do try not to say things with the intent to cause pain. And I will take your feedback and consider it carefully and with an open heart.

    Thanks again.


  20. ryPWN’D,

    I never know how to respond to you. I am not saying that the atonement suddenly removed all causal connections between actions and suffering. If I crash hard on my snowboard, it’s still gonna hurt. However, there is no necessity for pain to occur. If someone saw me about to crash and wanted to soften my landing by jumping below me, then they can. That’s what Jesus did for us.

    If a child trips and scuffs up her knee, we don’t tell sit back and tell her to deal with it. We hold her and do what we can to alleviate the suffering.


  21. Narrator

    I know, I’m so uninformed and in the end I’m just a pawn being used by the PR driven church who cares more about the image than anything else. Good for using the personal attacks.

    You said “I am not saying that the atonement suddenly removed all causal connections between actions and suffering.” But you’ve also said “then you can have your Jesus who is still going to have you suffer. I’ll have my Jesus who took on all my suffering for me.” So which is it, is there suffering or did Jesus take all the suffering?


  22. Woah. Wait a minute. Personal attacks?

    I don’t know how to respond to you because we speak to different languages and have two very different views on things.

    If I wreck on my mountain bike, it will hurt. I will suffer. If I don’t take on the atonement in my life, I am suffering for my sins. If I take on the atonement, I don’t suffer. I don’t see the problem.

    I just don’t understand you ryan. I;m not attacking you.


  23. So you have never felt guilty for telling a lie? Never had that empty hole in your gut you’ve sinned? When you sin, you suffer – even if you repent. Go back to my longer post – both Elder Oaks and President Kimball talked about it. Alma the younger suffered GREATLY -> yet I’m not sure anyone would say he didn’t repent. He even recalled how great the suffering was MANY years later when talking to his sons. The Atonement doesn’t magically make it so that suffering never happened. It was never meant to. It was meant so that you wouldn’t have to suffer the full weight of the sin. You don’t pay the full price, you don’t even pay the end price, but you do pay for your sins! When Suzy and Johnny decide to sleep together before marriage and Suzy gets pregnant, abortion is not the answer. They made a choice and that choice has consequences. Obviously there is a time and place for abortion (rape, incest, health of mother etc.) but those are the exception and NOT the rule. I agree completely, and fully believe Christ would too, that you do have to deal with the consequence of your actions. You served a mission if you recall someone that was on parole couldn’t be baptized. Not because the didn’t have a broken heart and contrite spirit, but because there were consequences they needed to pay. The Atonement couldn’t take effect b/c they still had to pay their part. Christ never once, EVER, took away someone’s consequences. It doesn’t work that way – the atonement only makes it so we don’t have to suffer as Christ did.

    How can I know the joy brought by the atonement if I never suffer the pain cause by my sin?

    as for the attack – you typed ryPWN’D — either you were implying I’m a Pawn, or you missed typed and meant ryOWN’D — and that I’m somehow owned. I will be completely honest, currently my wife is having serious health issues and is in a hospital in Seattle (3.5 hours away). I’m playing the role of ‘supporting husband’ and ‘single dad’ to our 1 year old son. I’m a full time student and work 2.5 jobs so I’m a bit stressed. If I miss read / read into your play on my ‘name’ then I’m sorry – I would like to use the excuse that I’m stressed out if you’ll allow me. :)


  24. ryan,

    as usual, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. i’d go into why, but that never works between us.

    as far as the ryPWN’d thing goes, you’re the computer guy. i thought you were going to get a kick out of it. i guess i was wrong. my bad.

    sorry about your wife. hope things get better.


  25. Question for the “suffering and consequences” dialectic:

    When a person leaves the church for one reason or another, lets say for five years and then comes back, how does the Atonement have effect in their life? Does it cleanse them of their sins when they have fully and sincerely repented? I fully believe so. Does it replace the spiritual progress that would have been had, had they remained active and serving those five years? Might this be considered a consequence of their decision?


  26. Love the dialogue here. It’s about time.
    Just wanted to make a comment on politics, since it is so timely at the moment.

    In the vein of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, let’s remember a few things:

    1) It is safe to say that many in the Christian Right voted for a tax-break as much as any other reason. We got the tax break…at least we have that going for us. Did we get much else?

    2)The Anti-Abortion vote was a trap from the beginning. The Republican party has used it as bait for the Christian vote since the the Nixon 70s. It has worked every time, but here are the facts: a)Once the Republicans get the presidency, all talk of anti-abortion is shelved until voting season three years later, and b) The Constitution dictates that any legal right that citizens enjoy can never be taken away from them. This was solidified with the disaster that was Prohibition…and the resulting creation of The Mob.
    Christians are so needful to find a candidate who will end abortion because it helps them not feel guilt about the issue, and it allows them the privilage to be ignorant of all other issues facing voters. Result: Ignorant Christians who, after years of being lost to the realities of politics, lose their rights, and are forced to aquire an attitude of “It’s the Last Days, so what does it matter?”
    Actually, it matters alot because the Second Coming could be next week, or in three hundred years. Why do we concentrate so hard on raising our kids right, and yet willfully ignore what is happening to the nation they will inherit?
    We are told in the Church to get involved in politics insofar as it affect the gospel. Do any of us really believe that consevative talk radio gods are in it for Christain initiaves? Why don’t we, instead,take an economics class and a 20th Century American Histoy course, turn of the radio and CNN, go to a few caucuses, read a few books, watch a few international newscasts who are not in the pocket of Pfiser, Eli Lilly, and General Motors and get a clue.
    As for abortion and any other social ill, how about money for education, and social programs…you know, the ones that got us out of the Great Depression, and the epidemic of poverty that ruled rural America until the late 1970s.
    No, I am not a Democrat…I am rather a-political, actually. I am an appreiciator of History, not the revisionism brought to you by corporate America and politicians. I take the warnings of the Book of Mormon seriously, and Paul’s advice to the Corinthians that “Pride cometh before the fall.”

    Let your criticism begin…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: