Kirby and misplaced faith

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DarkJedi
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Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Apr 2018, 17:36

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/kirby/20 ... egin-with/

I actually think the title says it all:
When a church leader falls, it shouldn’t shake your faith unless you had your faith misplaced to begin with
He sums up with a similar thought:
If someone else’s vile behavior causes you to question your core beliefs, it’s only a sign that you had your faith misplaced to begin with.
Since we all are fallible — even those we profess to love and revere the most are destined to fail from time to time. The cool part is the valuable lessons to be learned from such behavior. It can tell us so much about ourselves.
I recognize this might hit a nerve with some of us, and at one time it might have hit a nerve with me - until I figured it out. While Kirby never explicitly says so in the column, it's pretty clear to me that he's saying our faith should not be in JS or other prophets (or the BoM or family history or a myriad of other things) but instead be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Missing the mark in that way and the culture of prophet worship (which as of course ticked up a bit of late) have led to many a faith crisis - needlessly in the Church of Jesus Christ.

I usually at least scan the comments section and this time I was very surprised at what I saw there. I think this was a good effort by Kirby, but lots of readers (or at least those who comment) clearly did not get it.

And I like the SP story!
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by SilentDawning » 08 Apr 2018, 17:50

I don't like this statement that if people's behavior makes you lose your faith, that your faith was misplaced -- it's the old "it's the members fault" argument. It relieves the church of any responsibility. It is a license to kill, so to speak.

In my case, church leader and member behavior hurt my commitment, my sense of belonging in the community, just like any form of "abuse" tends to hurt relationships. This caused me to not really engage with the experience, to poke through some of the cultural shining spots of the church, the whitewash, to turn to support outside the church. Here I landed, and was exposed to how things really are, I thought, and this changed what I believed to be true about the church.

I still have testimony, but no commitment. People's behavior made the church experience a distasteful one. Leader behavior made it a place I didn't feel I could flourish anymore. It led to depression. It had little to do with misplaced faith.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"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". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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DarkJedi
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Apr 2018, 18:05

SilentDawning wrote:
08 Apr 2018, 17:50
I don't like this statement that if people's behavior makes you lose your faith, that your faith was misplaced -- it's the old "it's the members fault" argument. It relieves the church of any responsibility. It is a license to kill, so to speak.

In my case, church leader and member behavior hurt my commitment, my sense of belonging in the community, just like any form of "abuse" tends to hurt relationships. This caused me to not really engage with the experience, to poke through some of the cultural shining spots of the church, the whitewash, to turn to support outside the church. Here I landed, and was exposed to how things really are, I thought, and this changed what I believed to be true about the church.

I still have testimony, but no commitment. People's behavior made the church experience a distasteful one. It had little to do with misplaced faith.
I think part of Kirby's point was maybe it's not about the church. Although he mentioned church experiences, he really only addressed faith.
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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Apr 2018, 19:05

He is right. Faith in infallibility of leaders is misplaced faith.

Of course, leaders who claim infallibility, even if only in practical terms, also misplace faith and influence misplaced faith - but that sort of faith still is misplaced.
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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nibbler
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by nibbler » 09 Apr 2018, 05:17

Gotta be careful with that one, if you ever feel like everything in life has let you down you may find yourself with faith in nothing. Prophets can let you down. Humanity can let you down. Yes, even Jesus can let you down. The trick is rediscovering faith after all that.

I've heard this argument before. People that have had a faith crisis because of shaken faith in leaders (current or past) are often given this balm, that they had faith in the wrong thing. Yeah, even though it's not the most comforting thing to hear they're probably right. The real kicker is to receive that sort of advice from a culture that then goes right back to their regularly scheduled prophet worship right after handing out that advice.

How is the person struggling with a loss of faith to feel when they would like to move on from having "misplaced" faith but they find themselves in a culture that has elements that both chides them for having faith in the wrong thing and there is pressure to place their faith in the wrong thing?

Fun times.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
― Rumi

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SilentDawning
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by SilentDawning » 09 Apr 2018, 08:11

nibbler wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 05:17
Gotta be careful with that one, if you ever feel like everything in life has let you down you may find yourself with faith in nothing. Prophets can let you down. Humanity can let you down. Yes, even Jesus can let you down. The trick is rediscovering faith after all that.
Very insightful!!!

What I found is that ALL those entities let me down. My faith regressed back to hope. I hope when this life is over that God will find a place for me in "heaven" however defined. I am not sure Mormonism is even clear on what heaven is anymore.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"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". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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richalger
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by richalger » 09 Apr 2018, 08:52

This is a very important topic. It is important to place our faith where it cannot be shaken. That is in the rock, Jesus Christ.

The tricky part is that we learn of Jesus initially from only fallible sources, people, books even scripture. The trick is to connect to the Holy Spirit. And that is tricky. What is emotion? What is only a desire to believe. We have to look to the results. The fruit.

Over time, I need to learn to trust my interactions with God. After 45 years, I am still working on that. I hope. I trust, to a degree.

It is vital to separate worship of God from any thing else. It is vital to teach these principles to those around us.

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richalger
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by richalger » 09 Apr 2018, 09:03

What do you do to help those around you and yourself center your faith in Christ?

What are some examples of placing faith in something other than God?

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DarkJedi
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Apr 2018, 09:36

nibbler wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 05:17
How is the person struggling with a loss of faith to feel when they would like to move on from having "misplaced" faith but they find themselves in a culture that has elements that both chides them for having faith in the wrong thing and there is pressure to place their faith in the wrong thing?

Fun times.
That's a good point, Nibbler. My FC was a lot like everyone else's in that we might all have different things that triggered it but the crisis itself is the same - loss of faith/belief. I did indeed lose belief in God - Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But in retrospect it turns out that while my faith (at least some of it) was in God, it was someone else's version of God and not mine. The first thing that came back to me, the foundation of my new faith if you will, was a belief in God. And that's all it was and all it remains, although it's a stronger belief now than it was a few years ago. I've said this before here: My new faith is in many ways much stronger than my old faith. I think that's because instead of relying on other people's version of what God is (e.g. The God of the Lost Car Keys) I have come to understand what my version of God is. Perception is reality, so to me my version of God is more real and accurate than my old (pre-FC) version.

Whichever Fowler's stage I am now in allows me to not care that the church (or anyone or any other church) might chide me for having faith in the wrong thing and allows me to ignore the pressures such as "follow the prophet." I know what God I believe in now, and that God (including the Savior) is the rock of that faith. I won't be so bold as to proclaim my new faith is unshakable, and I have been known to chide people for that idea using Peter as an example. But in that respect my faith is much stronger than it was before precisely because I can ignore "follow the prophet" and "read the Book of Mormon every day.
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."

My Introduction

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DarkJedi
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Re: Kirby and misplaced faith

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Apr 2018, 09:42

richalger wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 08:52
This is a very important topic. It is important to place our faith where it cannot be shaken. That is in the rock, Jesus Christ.

The tricky part is that we learn of Jesus initially from only fallible sources, people, books even scripture. The trick is to connect to the Holy Spirit. And that is tricky. What is emotion? What is only a desire to believe. We have to look to the results. The fruit.

Over time, I need to learn to trust my interactions with God. After 45 years, I am still working on that. I hope. I trust, to a degree.

It is vital to separate worship of God from any thing else. It is vital to teach these principles to those around us.
Very well put Rich.

I go to church to partake of the sacrament and remember the Savior (as he asked). I am fortunate in that I often also get other moments where I can feel the Spirit (at last what I think is the Spirit) and peace. Sometimes I even learn things, gain insights, or am reminded of important things. I am unfortunate in that there's also lots of "fluff" thrown in there, which I sometimes have to sort through and which sometimes causes me distress which I have to endure. It's the good things - the sacrament and other important things - that keep me coming back.
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."

My Introduction

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