In the Church, but not OF the Church

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SilentDawning
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In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by SilentDawning » 31 May 2012, 16:37

In our discussion of the State 5 level of faith, my wife and I were talking about our own attitudes toward the Church. Although largely TBM, she has lately been claiming that now she's doing what makes her happy, and pursuing her passions in life more freely rather than being available for ever beck and call of the church.

I described to her that she is finding her own way within Mormonism -- something I'm happy to be doing myself, and lately more content with the progress I'm making.

She came out with something profound at that point and said:

"you have to be IN the Church, but not OF the Church".

For me this was a very compelling statement, which could mean different things for different people. For me, it means I am there at church, contributing, but not fully assimilating all the attitudes and destructive cultural values that do permeate our religion. For others, it may mean something different. But I felt this was a very profound philosophical comment from my wife who is usually not very philosophical.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 31 May 2012, 18:53, edited 1 time in total.
"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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greenapples
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by greenapples » 31 May 2012, 18:02

SilentDawning wrote:"you have to be IN the Church, but not OF the Church".
How very fun :mrgreen:

I recall going to Seminary, Sunday School,priesthood and they would always say
"Be IN the world but not OF the world."
Now we are being in the church but not of the church.

It's true though.
"The code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules
A small clip from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6kgS_AwuH0
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Brown
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by Brown » 04 Jun 2012, 22:18

I liked my last ward a lot more than my current one. Part of it was the attitude that the Bishop had. He frequently reminded us that "The Church" is not "The Gospel". They are two different things. Church is supposed to help us learn more about the Gospel and get closer to Jesus, but they are not one and the same. Your quote seems to be saying about the same thing. And I'd argue sometimes "The Church" becomes a time consuming distraction from actually getting closer to Christ.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Jun 2012, 08:29

President Packer said much the same thing, Brown, in one of the world-wide training sessions recently. He said that the Church is meant ot serve members and families rather than members and families being meant to staff the Church.

There had to be a practical reason for him to say that - a real need that he was addressing.
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

bc_pg
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by bc_pg » 06 Jun 2012, 20:09

Perhaps ironically I would describe myself as "of the church but not in the church"

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baldzach
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by baldzach » 07 Jun 2012, 09:06

Ray Degraw wrote:members and families being meant to staff the Church.
You just described my ward's administration.

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cwald
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by cwald » 07 Jun 2012, 14:56

Brown wrote: And I'd argue sometimes "The Church" becomes a time consuming distraction from actually getting closer to Christ.
Absolutely. But, for the most part, the active membership will not understand what you are saying, because as you mention, they mistakenly equate the church and Christ and the gospel, as all the same thing.
  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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Jun 2012, 20:15

I think the vast majority of members realize that they are different - especially given the last GC talk, but even without it. It's the conjoining of them all as inseparably intertwined that is the issue - kind of like trying to have a Godhead discussion with Protestants who believe in the traditional construct of the Trinity. Neither really makes sense, logically, but that doesn't stop the mish-mash from occurring.
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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deancatcat
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by deancatcat » 09 Jun 2012, 19:43

I just read your post, and am so glad you both have freedom to live life and be in church too, but not have it encompass your entire life. However, I read your post about Stage 5 and then read this quote below your post with some other quotes:


"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it".

Is this like applied research where qualitatively there is enough empirical research that this be true?? I am having such a hard time with learning the gospel and what our doctrine is as I am new to that part of the church. We joined 10 years ago but played the piano in Primary for a long time. Then finally got to go to Sunday School and RS. I think it's a lot of church. Lots and lots of church. So, this is where I am at.

I loved your wife's comment. I like you are having happy days and feeling free. I think it is wonderful not feeling "bad" because I'm not perfect. I never had a church that has made me feel so bad about who I am except this one. Have you always been members?
deancatcat

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SilentDawning
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Re: In the Church, but not OF the Church

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jun 2012, 12:12

deancatcat wrote: "Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it".

Is this like applied research where qualitatively there is enough empirical research that this be true?? I am having such a hard time with learning the gospel and what our doctrine is as I am new to that part of the church. We joined 10 years ago but played the piano in Primary for a long time. Then finally got to go to Sunday School and RS. I think it's a lot of church. Lots and lots of church. So, this is where I am at.
I don't think there is any empirical evidence for it -- everyone has a different understanding of what this fifth Stage of faith is -- and that is my own interpretation that has worked for me. In a way, I think it's something that many members experience in different sectors of the gospel...for us it's simply on a grand scale.
I loved your wife's comment. I like you are having happy days and feeling free. I think it is wonderful not feeling "bad" because I'm not perfect. I never had a church that has made me feel so bad about who I am except this one. Have you always been members?
I know. Today the Sacrament meeting talk was from this gentleman who expounded on the "never say no to a calling" mantra we hear at Church. It was all about serving in the Church without any regard for personal circumstances -- with the arguments aimed at trying to make everyone serve anywhere in the church at any time unconditionally.

I felt like Ben Franklin recorded in his autobiography when he heard a talk in a Presbyterian Church. He left the meeting believing the talk was aimed less at encouraging everyone to be good people, and more at encouraging everyone to be good Presbyterians (Mormons in this case).

One needs to have a strong filter for all the shoulds of our religion, and run it through your own life experience, current circumstances etcetera and out comes what's right for you.
"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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