Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thoughts On Excommunication and Recent Events

I am saddened by the recent spate of completed and pending excommunication of prominent Church members.  Perhaps even more discouraging are the Bill Clinton-esque statements put out by the Church.  What is going on?  Is this really the Church of Jesus Christ?

We have John Dehlin being threatened with excommunication.  His crime appears to be publicly stating his skepticism about historical matters and weak faith in Jesus Christ.  Despite his misgivings about the Church, Mr. Dehlin has provided the resources for many who struggle with their faith to be able to remain in fellowship.

Kate Kelly is facing excommunication for her role in the Ordain Women movement.  I can't say I agree with her agenda.  If she had a better understanding of what priesthood really is, she would not have any interest in being ordained to the Church's priesthood.  Nevertheless, is it right for the Church to mete out a punishment of eternal damnation for asking the leaders to petition God about the matter?  Maybe a polite "No, thanks" would suffice instead.

Then we have Rock Waterman, who has publicly blogged about his doctrinal disagreements.  I find it sadly amusing that Joseph Smith reveled in the fact that Mormonism has no creeds which a man must believe or be asked out the church, and yet here we are with a man who disagrees with the post-Joseph creeds established by the church, and now he is being asked out of it.

And who could forget the condemnation the Church has heaped upon itself, casting out Denver Snuffer, whose offense consisted of publishing historical facts that lead to very uncomfortable conclusions about our doctrine and the Church's standing before God?

Worst of all, we have a Church which bills itself as the only true and living Church on the earth, using legal techniques suited for Bill Clinton, finessing the wording of their public statements to effectively tell the truth while at the same time lying through its teeth.  Yes, I said that.  The level of misdirection and obfuscation of the Church's statement that higher-ups have no involvement in these excommunication is an abomination.  I think I would ask this question of the church - Are you honest in your dealings with your fellow men?

The fear and anger that the Church and its leaders display is born of the master of fear and anger himself.  It is wrong.  Our God is a God of truth, a God of light, a God of honesty, of integrity.  Evil, sin, and cockroaches love darkness.  When the light of truth is shined, those things scatter.  They cannot remain in the presence of the light.  A church of God should do work in the light.

I have also been ashamed of my fellow Latter-day Saints, who have gleefully supported their leaders in this move to cast out their brothers and sisters.  Our church teaches that men must have the Church's priesthood and receive all the "temple blessings" in order to obtain eternal life.  If this is so, excommunication is the spiritual equivalent of eternal damnation.  If you excommunicate someone, you damn them to hell for eternity, according to our doctrine.  Well, with what judgment ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  You who call for the ouster of those who differ one iota from the infallible popes, er, prophets, er, leaders who cannot lead us astray, I urge you to reconsider your position.

Yesterday I listened to an interview with a Church PR representative.  It was quite amusing.  She carefully stated that the Church leaders do not direct the actions of local leaders in disciplinary matters, but would not categorically state that they have no influence.  She called it "training" and "technical assistance."  She also stated that discipline is always meant to be a way to love someone and help them in their repentance, that it is not a punishment.  I'm sorry, but the cases with which I am familiar do not support such an assertion. 

My, my, my.  Things are certainly a mess.  Fortunately, the Rock of our salvation is immovable in His love, in His gospel.  We can repent and come to Him.  He forgives.  He offers eternal life through His grace.  No institution or man can offer such blessings to us.  No keys held by men give us these things.  I love my Savior and I am so grateful for all He has given me.  I testify of His love.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. The Church has made itself look so foolish. I highly recommend checking out Denver Snuffer's response to the assertion that the COB is not involved in excommunications.

    The Church should be honest and upfront about the fact that GAs ARE involved in the disciplinary process. Honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of discipleship. Lies are the territory of the adversary. Denver is a righteous man who has been wrongly accused and punished.