An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

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cwald
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An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by cwald » 08 May 2011, 15:08

Well girls, it's not good. It' not good at all. I spent an hour and an half with the BP today. This meeting was by request from the SP.

(I live two hours from the SP/stake - so all this communication is going through the BP)

The SP more or less accused me of being a part of an apostate group know as the "Middle Way." I was asked many questions about my involvement in the Middle Way movement of the church. The SP/BP are convince that the Middle Way is some kind of physical group that is determine to undermine the church. I tried to explain that it is more of a philosophy than an identity - but...

It's it very possible that he knows of my activity here and on NOM ? Very very possible - but how?

Is it also possible that SP has been given some instruction or training from SLC to be on the look out for Middle Way mormons. How would he know to use that term - unless he is equating it to the buddhist middle way life....????

Also - I was asked about my facebook status which has Buddhism as my religion and several Dalia Lama quotes as well a picture of the Dalia Lama being one of the influential people in my life. My daughter has used Dalia Lama quotes on MANY occasions at Stake events and such, so I can imagine the concern. Why would the SP be on my facebook page? He's not my "friend" and I barely use that thing anyway.

The SP had me go through the first four TR questions - which I give him credit for --- at least they are not focusing on the outward commandments that are down on the end of the list. I think, because of the help from this site, that i was able to answer the questions to the BP satisfaction - even though he did ask follow up questions with each one, and wouldn't accept a "yes" or "no" answer for any of it. I talked - I was pretty honest, because of the situation.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of my "interview" was the BP told me that the SP has been in contact with church headquarters, and has asked for my "records" including tithing amounts from the previous year. One of the concerns is that the SP is questioning my tithing status - which is weird because I did not claim to be a full tither payer this year. But the fact that the SP would go to this kind of investigation and get my "file" from SLC, go on facebook and look at my profile, is not good folks. It is not good at all.

The BP was courteous and I believe he is a good man. He told me that he will do what he can to ease the SP's concern that I am not in "apostasy" or a threat to the church and that "no discipline is needed," and that he was not going to release me from my calling until the SP told him too ---- which he says is probably inevitable at this point at the very least.

I thanks him for that, and sent the message back to the SP that I appreciate his concern, and that I am not leaving the church, fighting against the church, asking to be released, and that I will also not be a temple recommend holder, and that I really only have two options; be a middle way mormon - or leave the church altogether. At this time there is no other options for me.

Really, I don't have hard feelings for the SP --- he is a guardian, and doing what he feels is important to protect the members of the church. He, and many of the leadership, view the Middle Way as a great threat to the institution, and the talk in GC last month is only going to make it harder for us. And I have to be honest and admit that I am not the best advocate for the middle way. I lack tack and patience, and sometimes I am just too brutally honest to be effective. The church will do what it needs to do. And so will I.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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mercyngrace
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by mercyngrace » 08 May 2011, 15:30

IMO, this constitutes a serious overstepping of the bounds.

Is the SP going to call President Uchtdorf out for quoting St. Francis in the last General Conference? How about Elder Holland for quoting St. Augustine in GC a few years ago? What about all the brethren who quote CS Lewis religiously?

Lots of members pay less than a full tithe.
Lots of members have issues with some of the doctrine.
These are not legitimate reasons for excommunication.

And neither is a facebook status.

There needs to be an intervention in your stake, cwald, someone needs to put a stop to all the spiritual inbreeding going on up there.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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mom3
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by mom3 » 08 May 2011, 15:49

Wow Cwald. I agree with MercynGrace this is a huge overstep. I also agree that of the things found - everyone of them can be matched by other iron-rod members. Tithing status, use of quotes, etc. and facebook is not an arm of the church. No one is obligated to put a religion - even if you put something else, it still isn't a breach of LDSness.

I have no words to offer, but I will pray for you. I always do pray for this paradigm struggle. I will also pray for your leaders that they also might have sight and understanding. Good Luck. I wish you genuine peace and truth.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 May 2011, 15:53

"Is it also possible that SP has been given some instruction or training from SLC to be on the look out for Middle Way mormons."


I would have heard about that if it was happening as general instruction, especially given the stake I attend. I am not aware of anything of the sort - and there is no way it is something that was communicated to one SP and not all of them. I believe it is a case of an extremist Stake President who just can't handle diversity of opinion about things that are sacred to him.

I understand your Stake President's view, but I wish desperately that it didn't exist - especially in stereotypes about people who are not fighting the Church in any way and not trying to "gain converts". It's just sad, really.

Having said all of that, I'm glad it turned out as it did for now - especially that you have the support of your Branch President.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Brian Johnston
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Brian Johnston » 08 May 2011, 16:12

Dude ... are you ever going to catch a break?

Sorry to hear about it. It sounds like you handled things about as good as anyone could.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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SilentDawning
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Re: An ominous development for Middle Way Mormons

Post by SilentDawning » 08 May 2011, 17:12

For me, this highlights the need to keep one's opinions to oneself. Not that I'm criticizing for anything you migth have said at times Cwald, but if they didn't know what you truly felt, none of this misinterpretation or exaggeration would be happening.

Do you think this is a result of a Church-wide emphasis on rooting out adherents to this "Middle Way" Mormonism (which is a concept, and not a formal movement -- you can't even identify a formal leader or organization for it, or even a static set of philosophies about it -- the closest thing being the How To Stay article).
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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cwald
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by cwald » 08 May 2011, 17:21

SilentDawning wrote:For me, this highlights the need to keep one's opinions to oneself. Not that I blame you for being vocal at times Cwald, but if they didn't know what you truly felt, none of this misinterpretation or exaggeration would be happening.
Touche'. Yes, I have been a fool.

I think to try to be fair to the SP and the church - I am NOT just a member in the eyes of the church leadership. Besides my branch callings, I got a stake calling dumped on me, because there is very little options here, and the rule book is quite clear that to be a EQP you MUST have a current recommend.

Also to be fair to the church, I am in a position, not only in the church, but more especially in the community where I am in the "lime light" and quite well known, and have quite a bit of influence. I'm sure this is all part of the equation.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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cwald
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by cwald » 08 May 2011, 17:31

OMG. I have been just picking my brain all day about where all this is coming from - and how the SP could possibly know all this about me and why "now." There is NO WAY this is a coincidence and there is no way he could have know this stuff from the BP or other branch members here, because I am pretty careful, and I have never used the term middle way at church and that term doesn't exist on my facebook either. So where did it come from and why now, after two years with this calling without a TR? Why now?

I have just recently used the term "Middle Way" with my family (which is composed of of bishop counselors, HC and even a SP) in those recent emails and phone calls, just a couple of weeks ago --- AND NOW THEY THINK I AM "SATANIC AND GAY." I posted one of those emails in a thread on here I think. I had more than one brother specifically call me out on the whole middle way comments I made as an "apostate teaching." OMG - somebody in my family has been in contact with my SP. This is unbelievable.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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timpanogos
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by timpanogos » 08 May 2011, 18:28

cwald wrote:I have just recently used the term "Middle Way" with my family (which is composed of of bishop counselors, HC and even a SP) in those recent emails and phone calls, just a couple of weeks ago --- AND NOW THEY THINK I AM "SATANIC AND GAY." I posted one of those emails in a thread on here I think. I had more than one brother specifically call me out on the whole middle way comments I made as an "apostate teaching." OMG - somebody in my family has been in contact with my SP. This is unbelievable.
Courts of Love, Families of Love ... good possibility that some one close is reaching out to help you. Ah its so good to be loved.
Push to the Peak!

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SilentDawning
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by SilentDawning » 08 May 2011, 18:36

cwald wrote:OMG. I have been just picking my brain all day about where all this is coming from - and how the SP could possibly know all this about me and why "now." There is NO WAY this is a coincidence and there is no way he could have know this stuff from the BP or other branch members here, because I am pretty careful, and I have never used the term middle way at church and that term doesn't exist on my facebook either. So where did it come from and why now, after two years with this calling without a TR? Why now?

I have just recently used the term "Middle Way" with my family (which is composed of of bishop counselors, HC and even a SP) in those recent emails and phone calls, just a couple of weeks ago --- AND NOW THEY THINK I AM "SATANIC AND GAY." I posted one of those emails in a thread on here I think. I had more than one brother specifically call me out on the whole middle way comments I made as an "apostate teaching." OMG - somebody in my family has been in contact with my SP. This is unbelievable.
This sounds plausible. My father-in-law-to-be got me in trouble with my Bishop because he thought I'd "gone too far" with his daughter when we were engaged. I ended up in an impromptu roasting over it and had to deny vehemently I hadn't done anything wrong. All this happened behind the scenes without my knowledge, and it went through two Bishops before I learned about it. Welcome to the family....
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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