Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Red Letters :: Heavy

Anybody can claim to preach "the word of God." Anyone. So... how can we be sure what is truly from God and what truly is not?

In the Bible, Jesus Christ gives some extremely sound advice during His Sermon on the Mount (as found in Matthew 7):

15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Again, I find this to be extremely sound counsel (whether you believe Christ is our Lord God or not), and such is how I approach anything proposed to be "the word of God").

Such is how I finally started to approach the issue of homosexuality, and such is what I found:


Good Fruits Directly Produced:

  1. A few strong mixed-orientation marriages entered into out of duty and discipleship to "the word."
  2. Hope for the life latter.

Bad Fruits Directly Produced:

  1. Broken families in which the homosexual entered into a mixed-orientation marriage out of duty and discipleship to "the word" but was not sustained by "the word."
  2. Broken families in which an out homosexual is pushed to a distance from his/her parents and/or siblings as the latter uphold their duty to "the word."
  3. Beliefs of superiority as dictated explicity by "the word" -- meaning the heterosexually-headed family is seen as and treated as a family, superior to the homosexually-headed family which is seen as and treated as a perversion to "the word."
  4. Majority of the followers are exhausted disciples to "the word" -- meaning, as was once my condition, there is an absence of substance on which to build a successful life while sincerely holding fast to "the word."
  5. No hope for disciples to "the word" in this life.
  6. Shortage of joy, happiness, and meaning in the lives of disciples to "the word."
  7. Suicide and desires of suicide brought directly to pass through devout stewardship to "the word" and not being sustained by "the word."
  8. Failing prophecies -- such as "Children raised by homosexual couples are raised in deficit" and "Gay marriage will destroy the family and, therefore, society." Such statements are continuously being proven false as gay marriage is being made legal in more and more countries.
  9. A damnation of resources that would be available -- were "the word" dissolved -- to the millions of orphans who are in need of exemplary families.
  10. A damnation of emotional, social, and mental development in the lives of devout disciples to "the word."
  11. False claims of essentiality to the Gospel of Christ (which Gospel's core doctrines are fully / completely and plainly laid out within the Book of Mormon -- such is, at least, what I was taught in Primary, Sunday School, and Seminary).
  12. Blindness to the above bad fruits.
  13. Blindness to the below good fruits.

(commited, exclusively monogamous gay couple raising children)

Good Fruits Directly Produced:

  1. A great abundance of joy, meaning, and fulfillment in the lives of disciples to "the word."
  2. Hope for disciples of "the word" in this life.
  3. Hope for the life latter.
  4. Beliefs of equality.
  5. Exemplary families opened up to the millions of orphans in need of such.
  6. Prophecies gaining credit -- such as "Children raised by homosexual couples are raised as equally as children raised by heterosexual couples" and "Gay marriage strengthens the core meaning of a family and society."

Bad Fruits Directly Produced:

  1. ... uh... I guess it prevents people from becoming members of what I believe to be Christ's Church... oh, wait... that's not this word's fault but the other's (ah, well, I'll keep it here anyway)

In my mind, there is absolutely NO question which of these "words" is most likely God's words and which is most likely bleetings from "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Yet, and this is really upsetting to me, the Church is saying, "Our works are good because we hold the word of God." This sentence is backwards... VERY backwards.

The Church should be able to say, "Our word is the word of God because our works are good." But she cannot say such in the case of homosexuality, can she? She is forced to slip on the appearance of a sheep and say, "Trust me... come follow me, and I will lead you to eternal life" as the lives of the poor sheep who trust, not based on the fruits, but on the word, are devoured.

I was almost one of those sheep.

Nevertheless, and this is even more upsetting to me, the Church continues to say, "Those lost sheep were not lost because of the word, but because of unbelief" as the lives of even more poor sheep (now fearing even more greatly unbelief of "the word") who trust, not based on the fruits, but on the word, are devoured.

I was almost one of those sheep.

Luckily, I was able to look around and notice all the dead and suffering sheep around me and realize that something is horribly wrong with the pasture in which we were grazing.

Luckily, I was able to look around and notice the pasture where the healthy, happy sheep were grazing.

Luckily, I have the courage to walk away from the malnourishment caused by the LDS Church's word in regards to homosexuality.

Hopefully, I will have the courage to stand up against the wolf in sheep's clothing... Hopefully, I will not stop until the false wool is shaved away to reveal the ravening wolf hiding, ever so cleverly, underneath.

I feel I should mention that I, in no way, believe the Brethren are the wolves, but the word, itself, by which the Brethren are led astry. Again, I do not believe the Brethren are leading away the members of the Church; rather, I believe this proposed "word of God" believed to be "core doctrine" of the Church, itself, is leading the Church away.

Again, this belief of mine is based solely on the fruits of this so-called "core doctrine" -- which means of evaluation was taught by Christ, Himself, to know which doctrines are from Him and which words are from "ravening wolves."

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