Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

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Curt Sunshine
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Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Jul 2011, 11:00

Steve P wrote an amazing post over at By Common Consent today. It is especially relevant to everyone here, so I want to supply the link and excerpt the last two paragraphs. I highly recommend everyone check it out and read the entire post:

"Are we really all so different?" (http://bycommonconsent.com/2011/07/02/a ... different/)
Can we take the commandment ‘Judge not’ seriously? The Pharisees in the New Testament always did their home teaching, regularly held their family home evenings, they were scrupulous in their daily scripture study, they were exact in their keeping of the word of wisdom (putting their behavior in a modern twist), they just were very good at keeping the commandments. Yet they missed completely the Savior of the World. Why? They misunderstood their primary duty. To love and lift others. I like to think that I would not have missed him. That if I had lived in Christ’s day, I would have recognized him. But if I have judged another by the level of their activity, their past mistakes, by the way they dress, or by how they keep the word of wisdom or in any other thing in which I hold up a measuring stick with them on one side and me on the other, I just did miss him. I have missed him more often than not I fear.

Look around your ward. Are you sure everyone feels as welcome as you do? Might there be those in our midst who do not feel welcome? Who feel like strangers. Different. Unwelcome? Based on statistics that the church keeps there are likely those within our ward boundaries those who suffer from loneliness, doubt about basic principles of the gospel, heartbreak, depression, addictions, and pain. If we do not love them who will? After all we are not so different underneath it all.
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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mom3
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Re: Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by mom3 » 02 Jul 2011, 23:30

Forgive me turning this upside down. I agree with the blog post but I also often wondered if the Savior also meant for those of us who struggle with the pharisees to also treat them as we would want to be treated. I think that is the hardest job.

For me it is often easier and more comfortable to love the less than perfect. It's the others I have trouble with. The command though was to love all - even those who despitefully use and persecute us.

The premise though is inspiring to look at everyone and see the Savior in them. Great reminder before I head to church.
"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: Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Jul 2011, 12:09

Amen, mom3. That often is the hardest aspect of charity for those who are the "different" ones - to love the "normal" who are different than them.
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

AmyJ
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Re: Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by AmyJ » 23 Feb 2018, 13:21

mom3 wrote:
02 Jul 2011, 23:30
Forgive me turning this upside down. I agree with the blog post but I also often wondered if the Savior also meant for those of us who struggle with the pharisees to also treat them as we would want to be treated. I think that is the hardest job.

For me it is often easier and more comfortable to love the less than perfect. It's the others I have trouble with. The command though was to love all - even those who despitefully use and persecute us.

The premise though is inspiring to look at everyone and see the Savior in them. Great reminder before I head to church.
I think that sometimes the hardest part of loving those who are the "more than perfect" (the double negative of the not the less then perfect) in our eyes is because we appear to have nothing to add - to them, their narrative, to anything...

This is very, very daunting for the souls who feel like they have an invisible shirt worn the wrong way, or feel lacking in other ways.

I guess I try not to feel inadequate, I try to figure out how the perfect ones want to feel loved, and use my faith that I have something they need as a battering ram into their society (when I feel courageous).

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DarkJedi
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Re: Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by DarkJedi » 23 Feb 2018, 15:43

Great outtake Curt and good blog. Thanks for sharing.

I wholeheartedly agree that we miss the mark way too often. I used this scripture in my most recent talk, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees:
For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.
(Matthew 23:23 NRSV)

There is another point of view, though, and Jesus alluded to it there - the Pharisees should have practiced justice and mercy and faith without neglecting the other stuff. Yes, I recognize that I'm contradicting my usual grace stance, I'm just pointing out the other point of view. I like to deride the modern Pharisees at least as much as anybody, and that's exactly what I was doing in my talk. But Jesus also said this about them:
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:20 NRSV)

So, it appears the Pharisees were going to heaven. I happen to agree, but not because of their righteousness, because of the atonement. I frankly don't get that part of the Sermon on the Mount.

So, yes, Mom, I do struggle with this a bit, but not as much as I used to - and much of that is thanks to you Curt. They can believe what they want, but since they take their opportunities to voice their point of view I have no reservation expressing mine which is often opposed to that. I can disagree without being disagreeable and while I'd much rather sit next to the gay kid with tats and a nose ring, I will sit next to the Pharisee. (Truth is I prefer sitting by myself.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
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Re: Missing the Savior: Are we really all so different?

Post by Roy » 25 Feb 2018, 14:50

Thanks for bumping this.

I hope to see others as doing just about as well as they know how to do. For me this applies to both the Pharisees and the Publicans, they are just trying to get through life. May we all, like the good Samaritan, help another on the road - simply because they are a fellow human.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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