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How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 10:31
by SilentDawning
I read the following scripture in Revelations years ago, and it's always stuck with me:
Rev. 3: 15-16
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
What does this mean for the article on How To Stay in the Church? I love the article -- I think it provides a way for people to remain connected to all the goodness of the Church, without feeling they are being untrue to their intellect, themselves, etcetera. Being a member of the Church on their own terms, and still being open to its influence is a good thing. I personally would rather have someone stay in the Church by modifying their commitment and even adherence to certain commandments (within a feasible range) than have them leave entirely.

So, how do you reconcile the definite common sense of the "How To Stay In the Church" article presents, with the scripture above?

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 11:40
by Curt Sunshine
"Live what you believe to the best of your ability."

"Be dedicated to your beliefs."

"Do your best."

"Try your hardest to be true to yourself."

"Don't be lazy."

"Be anxiously engaged in a good cause."

I don't think it says a thing about being close-minded, obsessive and/or fanatical. I think it simply says to be committed to your beliefs - and if charity and grace and kindness and meekness are part of those beliefs, not being an aggressive fanatic can be part of that commitment.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 16:40
by Brian Johnston
Be an awesome, motivated, excited and zealously mediocre Mormon :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sure, I know some members will use that scripture to say people like us are lukewarm, and are therefore not accepted by God. I just hope Jesus doesn't really eat us. That's an even more literal interpretation. Whether he chews us up and swallows us, or spits us out... Scary stuff! :-)

On a serious note, scripture interpretation often tells us more about the person interpreting than the "truth" or absolute meaning to the verses.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 16:52
by cwald
Perhaps god would be okay with a "lukewarm" Mormon who was 'hot" when it comes to serving others, loving god, and and loving our fellow man, rather than a "Hot" Mormon who was "lukewarm" when it came to serving others, loving god and loving our fellow man. Maybe he would even prefer it. You know - that scripture was not written for Mormons only. I'm pretty sure that if one wants to take it literal, it would need to be literal for EVERYONE on the planet - Mormons, Catholics, Buddhist, Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 16:55
by bridget_night
In the staylds essay on Why stay, I quote: Why stay?
When someone becomes disaffected from the LDS Church, it is quite common for them to be accused by family, friends, and fellow ward members of lacking faith and commitment. It is also common for them to be accused of grave sin or disobedience to church teachings. While we're sure that this is true of some people, as we've communicated with over 1,500 disaffected Mormons over the past several years, it has been our experience that most disaffected LDS Church members were "guilty," if anything, of caring too much about the church, not caring too little.

I don't see anyone as 'lukewarm' in this group. Rather as caring too much! In fact, "We're mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore!"

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 18:10
by SilentDawning
I think the scripture represents a kind of judgmental attitude by someone who happens to be in a committed period in their life as far as the gospel goes. It represents their looking at others from their own narrow perspective.

I think it also shows a lack of charity. I think it depicts my attitude when I was a priesthood leader years ago when I had my out-group (the people who came to Sunday meeetings and socials, but wouldn't lift a finger when it came to anything else), and my in-group -- the uber-committed types. It's an attitude I hope never to adopt again because it only leads to frustration.

Perhaps the scripture is referring to the attitude that will be taken on judgment day. I mean, ultimately, don't we HAVE to get eventually to the point where we are firing on all cylinders and are hot and willing in our commitment eventually? The scripture implies that you can't stay lukewarm forever. Eventually, those tendencies need to be replaced with high-level commitment at some point in our eternal journey...when, before its too late...I'm not sure.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 20:42
by Curt Sunshine
"We're mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore!"


For the record, that doesn't describe me - and, I suspect, most of the regulars here.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 21:57
by nightwalden
I take those verses to mean that we are to act, rather than be acted upon. Life is about making choices. Personally, I think life is more interesting if we make the bolder choice. Being conscious of how little we know or how much we doubt does not mean that we are lukewarm. I think another interpretation could be that we need to be progressing rather than being stagnant.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 13 Jun 2010, 08:13
by SilentDawning
Ray Degraw wrote:
"We're mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore!"


For the record, that doesn't describe me - and, I suspect, most of the regulars here.
When I read Bridget's post, I interpreted it differently. As someone who struggles with attitudes and weaknesses that cause me angst in the Church, I've often felt intense disapproval of the circumstances and angst I bring up on myself, and it motivates me to do something about it. Rather than let the weakness get you down, you demand that you do something about it because you're just plain sick and tired of the negative effects. So being "mad as blazes" at one's own less activity, unhappiness or other peace-disturbing tendencies is a good thing; it's a call to personal action that should be encouraged, in my view.

And adopting some of the attitudes in the "How to Stay Active in the Church" article is one way of dealing with those maddening negative effects on your life.

Back when I had my run-in with the Bishopric and the injustice I was feeling, as well as the inactivity I was constantly fighting out of my life -- I got this DRIVE to do what I had to in order to stay connectd with my Ward. So, I threatened to quit my calling and take my family to another Ward unless the situation could be brought to a "satisfactory resolution". Some would argue I should've just forgiven and moved on, but I COULDN'T -- all attempts had failed. So, I did what I had to, to take charge of the situation. And what I did helped. I felt more peace, stayed in my calling and stayed connected.

So, being mad as blazes at a situation, which motivates you to action may well be your saving grace at times. It was for me.

Now, I didn't express the anger -- everything was couched in gentleman's langauge and described politely, but unerneath it all was EXTREME DISAPPROVAL for the circumstances I was in. It motivated me to stay in the church, and I made it through that trial of faith.

Re: How Do You Reconcile these Scriptures?

Posted: 13 Jun 2010, 14:27
by Orson
Today I look back at myself before the faith crisis and see that I was much more "lukewarm" then. I feel like I have much more purpose and understanding in everything I do now.