An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

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cwald
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by cwald » 11 May 2011, 12:24

Ray, I know that. I know this is not an apostate website.

I also KNOW that the area authority who is over the Cache Valley/Franklin County is not convinced, and the SPs in those areas have been contacted and they are concerned about the "middle way" rhetoric that this site espouses.

My SP brothers knows all about this site folks and my involvement here, and even that I have quoted some of my other brothers comments from letters in certain threads. He is a good man, but don't for a second think he doesn't consider our activity here to be "apostate."

If I am wrong or mistaking the churches stance about this site - please tell us so brother.
  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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Tom Haws
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Tom Haws » 11 May 2011, 12:34

Cwald, before I read your emphatic message, I already had in mind to say what I am saying here.

When it comes right down to it, the word "apostate" is nothing more than a fighting word like "cult". It means traitor, bad guy, dupe of satan, enemy of the saints. That's how it was used in the early days of the church.

Wikipedia (that apostate, cultic encyclopedia) says:
Wikipedia wrote:Apostasy ( /əˈpɒstəsi/; Greek: ἀποστασία (apostasia), a defection or revolt, from ἀπό, apo, "away, apart", στάσις, stasis, "stand", "standing") is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy apostatizes and is an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday use. The term is used by sociologists to mean renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, a person's former religion, in a technical sense and without pejorative connotation. The term is sometimes also used by extension to refer to renunciation of a non-religious belief or cause, such as a political party, brain trust, or, facetiously, a sports team.
timpanogos wrote:The LDS definition of apostasy seems to differ from those suggested here:

"Losing confidence in Church leaders, criticizing them, and neglecting any duty required by God lead to apostasy."
Please parse the words. Those things are not apostasy. They lead to apostasy. Please return with a definition of the apostasy that results from those things.
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timpanogos
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by timpanogos » 11 May 2011, 12:59

Tom Haws wrote:Please parse the words. Those things are not apostasy. They lead to apostasy. Please return with a definition of the apostasy that results from those things.
thought I did ... see subsequent post quoting the same talk linked
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mercyngrace
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by mercyngrace » 11 May 2011, 13:20

cwald wrote:Ray, I know that. I know this is not an apostate website.

I also KNOW that the area authority who is over the Cache Valley/Franklin County is not convinced, and the SPs in those areas have been contacted and they are concerned about the "middle way" rhetoric that this site espouses.

My SP brothers knows all about this site folks and my involvement here, and even that I have quoted some of my other brothers comments from letters in certain threads. He is a good man, but don't for a second think he doesn't consider our activity here to be "apostate."

If I am wrong or mistaking the churches stance about this site - please tell us so brother.
Barring the existence of some breakaway group that is meeting in real life and encouraging separation from the church and rejection of church leadership, I can't imagine why this site would even be cause for concern other than by loving leaders who are moved by compassion toward their struggling fellows.

This site is populated with a group of loving, Christ-like individuals who are supportive of one another and better exemplify the teachings of Christ than many BOM thumping, no questioning allowed, LDS sites I've visited.
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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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 May 2011, 13:23

One of the reasons I don't like any divisive construct like "middle way" is that it really does set up an idea that there is "another way" that is in opposition to "the established way". I don't believe that, since I believe we all have to work within the overall framework of our Gospel understanding and find what works for us. That's not a "middle way". I don't believe in a group movement that constitutes another way. I belive in what the LDS Church encourages - agency and using the Restored Gospel to understand and draw closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as an individual while helping others within the family of God to do the same thing.

Every local leader I've had since I started blogging has known about my online involvement - and I have been approached "negatively" only once, in a situation where I really did make a mistake in posting a sarcastic comment on a popular group blog that some people didn't understand as sarcasm. Some people misconstrued my words and used them in a way in which they were not intended that actually did "hurt the Church" in a way - and I appreciated finding out about it, since I obviously was not aware about it until it was pointed out to me.

By Common Consent and Times & Seasons are about as "tame" as it gets for large group blogs in the Bloggernacle (since they actively moderate and ban the most vocal critics of the Church) - but I've had some people tell me that the people who participate there are a bunch of apostates. There are serving Bishops and Relief Society Presidents and Stake Presidents and Young Women Leaders and High Councilors ad infinitum who are regular commenters and admins on those sites, and yet they still get characterized as apostate by some members and local leaders.

I can't control what other people think and say about this site - but I do have a partial say in what this site actually is. I take that seriously, and all I'm saying is that this is not an apostate site - no matter what some others might think. We are trying to help people StayLDS, to whatever degree is possible for them - which is the very opposite of any legitimate definition of "apostate". I understand that not everyone will understand that, but I can't change that. I only can do what I can with the mission of this site - and that mission is not an apostate one. Period.

I know you understand that, cwald, and I understand and appreciate the warning, but let's go ahead and let that aspect of the discussion drop, ok? I think it's run it's course for now.
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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.

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johndehlin
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by johndehlin » 11 May 2011, 13:34

cwald wrote: I also KNOW that the area authority who is over the Cache Valley/Franklin County is not convinced, and the SPs in those areas have been contacted and they are concerned about the "middle way" rhetoric that this site espouses.
Do we know who the area authority is over Cache Valley?

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Orson
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Orson » 11 May 2011, 13:59

Ray Degraw wrote:
"You are wrong and going astray, but I am right and not going astray."


...is egotistical and sets the person up as a paragon of righteousness as opposed to those who are sinners. That attitude, at the very least, is a sign of arrogance...
Stepping back and looking at this point in a broader context [which I know has very little to do with the discussion at hand], I can't help but see that we all possess this arrogance to some degree. We all do things and believe things because we see them as the best way to be/believe. Our way is what makes sense to us based on our lifetime of experiences. As a church we think we are more correct than others - and that is why we are on this path and not the others. As individuals we think we can make wiser decisions than others -- which forms some basis for the decisions that we make.

When our perception is that we ARE on the "right" path, our human tendencies make us HIGHLY susceptible to this form of "self-righteous" pride. Even if we're not on the right path, our individual beliefs can still make us susceptible to this arrogance or pride. I think that is why Joseph Smith said:
We teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.
It seems to me when we get beyond principles, and try to govern specific actions and individual decisions, we run the risk of becoming pharisaical and losing focus [is the sabbath made for man, or man for the sabbath?] Example: in the 1890's the brethren were very concerned about card playing and "circle" dancing. They saw it as a source of much evil. The concern has trickled down to where my children cannot play an innocent board game in front of their grandparents because the game board displays some face card imagery.

Is this the best use of our energies -- to be concerned about the images on innocuous games? This is the danger of stating specifics with too much energy. I would much rather have a conversation about violence in video games than images on some game board, to me that is much easier to tie back to the key principle of "as I have loved you... "

So anyway, a little off track there ...but in the spirit of motes and beams I think we need to realize we are ALL a little arrogant, or at least a little prideful when it comes to our ideas and beliefs. How should that play out in our church [or StayLDS] setting? Is it okay to show a little pride in church where others share our common beliefs? Or should we try to tame our pride in all situations? We could think of it as gratitude for knowlege instead of pride, but in the end if we think our knowledge is in some way superior to the knowledge of others aren't we still experiencing some pride?

I think it is well to aknowledge all areas of our human weakness, otherwise we have no ability to improve.
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Brian Johnston
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by Brian Johnston » 11 May 2011, 14:43

johndehlin wrote:Do we know who the area authority is over Cache Valley?
Isn't it John Larsen? Whooops! Wrong church. My bad... :twisted:

Should I even joke about that? probably not.
"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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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by flower » 11 May 2011, 14:47

cwald... I just wanted you (and any of your leaders/family reading this) to know I love you and I love this forum.

I may not participate here much these days, but I still read it often and enjoy all of your wisdom. Were it not for this forum, the incredible work and compassion of John Dehlin (love those podcasts!) and great people such as you cwald and others... were it not for these avenues of support and validation, I would have surely left the church years ago. Instead I am still able to attend and contribute. My ability to find a "middle way" approach is the only thing keeping me in the church. If this approach is no longer welcomed there, then my days are surely numbered!

I just wanted you all to know how thankful I am for stayLDS, NOM, Mormon Stories, Mormon Expressions, and everyone who had uplifted and inspired me during my journey of growth and discovery!

love,
flower
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cwald
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Re: An ominous developement for Middle Way Mormons

Post by cwald » 11 May 2011, 14:52

Thanks flower.

(I am updating my status on this thread for my SP brothers sake, since I know that he is following this thread and I want to be fair to him and the church.)

I don't care to be a celebrity or a martyr as they talked about on NOM, and I think this all pretty well sucks.

It's been a hellish three days. My family relations are shot. SHOT!

Here is what I know as of today. I am being monitored and my posts at StayLDS are being read. Now whether that is from church leaders or family members I cannot say for sure, but in my case it is BOTH.

My SP brother called my SP here in Oregon. I have been told that was out of obligation of his office and what the Area Authority has asked SPs to do when they find "middle way" mormons. Now, my family believes that makes it okay because it really isn't a family member making the call but a church leader making the call. You can make up your own mind on that one. I have an opinion about it...

I was reassured that all this was just out of concern about my "spiritual well-being" because of some emails I had sent home, my facebook page religious status which was Buddhism at the time, and my involvement with "middle way" internet groups, and that church court was never part of the equation, they were only concerned about my "apostate" activity with online "middle way" groups, and some problems with "middle way" mormons in the Cache Valley area that I am friends with. If they have an official apostate group, I don't know about it. I'm thinking that it's just online activity such as NOM, mormon expressions, mormon stories and StayLDS. At least that is the feeling I am getting now.

My SP brother did call my SP back concerned about the "church court" wordage I used in my scathing email to him, and told family members it was never about church court --- just concern.

My SP is not pursuing the investigation.

The words "church discipline" were used numerous times in my interview. I believe that perhaps my BP or SP got freaked out over these accusations? I don't know. However, after hours of discussion, I will be okay.

The BP told me that I am getting released from EQP because "I don't hold a TR and I am not a "full tithe" payer." This is all true and that is the policy. I think it is important to note that I have had this calling for two years without a TR. But, it is the policy and I kind of knew this was just a matter of time.

The BP let me know last night that I will not be released from my other callings at this time, and that I am welcome and wanted in the branch, but I should careful about what I say to other church members.

I'm not sure if I'm going back now. I just don't know.

There is no question that the leadership in the Cache Valley area are VERY concerned about the "middle way" idea that is floating around, and that they consider my involvement on John Dehlin's StayLDS website as "apostate." I have heard no mention of NOM from my sources - but if StayLDS is considered to be an apostate group....you get my drift. Mormon stories and mormon expressions were mentioned, but not by SP brother but from family members so.....

Also - there is no question that the leadership in the Cache Valley area are monitoring and reading these posts. I personally think that is a good thing because I think it would help them understand some of the sticky issues members have and how they might address the problems and make the church more palatable. But, it they consider it apostate, than obviously it is not. I will not speculate further about there motivation.

Out.
  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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