17
Apr
09

JESUS, MY CREDITOR?

 

 One of the Mormonism’s basic manuals is a book entitled “Gospel Principles”.  Starting on p. 75 it quotes a parable given by Elder Boyd K . Packer, an LDS apostle.   It’s quite lengthy so I will summarize much of it here.  Heavenly Father is the creditor.  We are the debtors.  After awhile we realize that we can’t pay back the debt. After a discussion about justice and mercy, Jesus, the mediator, steps in. He asks the creditor if he will free the debtor from the contract, if he, the mediator, pays the entire debt. The creditor agrees. Let me pick it up there by quoting a few sentences:

“The mediator turned then to the debtor. ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’

“‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.’

“‘Then’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be posssible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.’”

For many Christians, this illustrates quite sharply the difference between the teachings of Mormonism and biblical Christianity.  Many Christians are genuinely horrified to hear Jesus being described as a creditor.  This goes against every grain of their being.

This horror on the part of Christians is mystifying to many Mormons.  They don’t see the problem.  They wonder what the big deal is.  To them seeing Jesus as their creditor is no big deal – it’s even natural.

For me, not only the parable itself, but then also the two differing and drastic reactions to it clearly illustrate the differences between Mormonism and Christianity.  The parable illustrates the different teaching; the differing reacttions illustrate the different mindsets. As Christians talk with their Mormon friends, they need to not only remember that many times words will be defined differently between the two, but also that their mindsets will be different from that of their LDS friends. 


92 Responses to “JESUS, MY CREDITOR?”


  1. 1 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Mark,

    Really!!! Can’t you be more accurate? It is like you are bearing false witness when you get it so wrong.

    M: It’s quite lengthy so I will summarize much of it here.

    GB: Actually it is rather short and if you posted the whole thing you wouldn’t have mischaracterized it. So rather than go through all of the problems with you post, here is the short story.

    “Let me tell you a story—a parable.

    “There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt.

    “He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later.

    “So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didn’t worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important.

    “The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come.

    “But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full.

    “Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well.

    “ ‘I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,’ he confessed.

    “ ‘Then,’ said the creditor, ‘we will exercise the contract, take your possessions and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced.’

    “ ‘Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt?’ the debtor begged. ‘Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy?’

    “The creditor replied, ‘Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice?’

    “ ‘I believed in justice when I signed the contract,’ the debtor said. ‘It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well.’

    “ ‘It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty,’ the creditor replied. ‘That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice.’

    “There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other.

    “ ‘If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy,’ the debtor pleaded.

    “ ‘If I do, there will be no justice,’ was the reply.

    “Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully served, and mercy also?

    “There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extended—but it takes someone else. And so it happened this time.

    “The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer.

    “ ‘I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.’

    “As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, ‘You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just.’

    “And so the creditor agreed.

    “The mediator turned then to the debtor. ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’

    “ ‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.’

    “ ‘Then,’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.’

    “And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken.

    “The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was satisfied”

    End of the Parable.

    But wait!!! There is more in the book.

    Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of him, if we will keep his terms, which are to repent and keep his commandments, we may return to live with our Heavenly Father.

    It is wonderful that Christ has provided us a way to be healed from our sins. He said:

    “Behold, I have come unto the world … to save the world from sin.

    “Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved” (3 Nephi 9:21–22).

    More references

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    D & C 19:16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

  2. 2 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Mark,

    This post of yours reminds me of this post of Mouw’s.

    http://www.netbloghost.com/mouw/?p=48

  3. 3 markcares
    April 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    GB:
    Doesn’t affect my point of my post at all. In fact, I think your comments illustrate my point. We have different mindsets.
    By the way, copying a string of unrelated references together really don’t make much of an impact.

  4. April 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    There are various ways of illustrating Jesus atonement, and they are ALL inadequate.

    This is one of them. And I’ve heard it used by Protestant ministers as well – an exact replica of the story you related above Mark. From Protestant ministers.

    So don’t try to tell me this is a uniquely Mormon quirk.

    By the way, I’ve heard a lot of other analogies used by Mormons as well. So this is hardly the only way we illustrate it.

  5. 5 markcares
    April 18, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Seth:
    I know the Protestant world is big and divrse but I never head a pastor use this or a similiar analogy. I do, however, know a whole lot who would agree with my post.

  6. 6 faithoffathers
    April 18, 2009 at 5:10 am

    You are right Mark. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I do not understand what is blasphemous about a person feeling a debt of gratitude to another being who has given so selflessly and at such great cost to help him. I am not sure what else a person is supposed to feel toward such a merciful being. Is there something wrong with recognizing how truly indebt one is to Christ and commiting one’s self to following Him?

    Please explain what is so abhorent about this parable. Is it the idea that we owe something to Christ? Forgive me, but some concepts taught by LDS critics seem to ignore human nature or pretend it does not exist.

    fof

  7. 7 jm
    April 18, 2009 at 5:32 am

    1gift
    Pronunciation: \ˈgift\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse, something given, talent; akin to Old English giefan to give
    Date: 12th century
    1 : a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
    2 : something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
    3 : the act, right, or power of giving

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    what a beautiful GIFT.

  8. 8 faithoffathers
    April 18, 2009 at 5:55 am

    jim,

    Defining the word “gift” doesn’t change my point. Do you think that a gift comes with absolutely no strings, no obligations whatsoever? If I bought my 15 year old daughter a mini-Cooper for her birthday gift, would it be OK for her to trash that gift? Would it be OK if she never washed it or took it to Jiffy-Lube? Of course not. If I was a hard-working, frugal, responsible guy, would I buy my daughter such a gift if she refused to do any work and was a spoiled brat? Not likely.

    If I did buy the Cooper, it would not be because she deserved it. It is unlikely that any 15 year old girl truly deserves or earns such a gift. And it is an unwise parent who would lavish such things on someone who made no effort to obey and honor parents or who felt no obligation to work.

    Thanks.

    fof

  9. 9 germit
    April 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    FoF: after your daughter trashes the mini-cooper, could I have it ??

    I’ll take good care of it; thanks

    luv those Coopers….

    GERMIT

  10. 10 jm
    April 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    gift
    2 : something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation.

    Sorry germit he mentioned it to me first, I get it. When my sons car was repossed, I gave him five thousand dollars to pay off his loan. He said he would pay it back and i said nothing. That was three years ago. And i won’t ask for it, because i am better off than he is. I did it because i LOVE him.

  11. April 18, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    That’s good of you jm,

    But your son would still be required to list you as a creditor if he filed for bankruptcy.

  12. 12 jm
    April 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    No he would not. It was cash given to him.

  13. April 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Believe it or not, you actually tread a pretty fine line with that distinction before the bankruptcy court.

  14. 14 jm
    April 19, 2009 at 3:57 am

    I am not a creditor, I’m family. I have helped my two brother’s, my sister and also one of his sister’s when they all have needed money. His other sister I spent three thousand on a car, I signed the title and gave it to her with the car. All of this was given as a free GIFT. I have never asked for any one of them to pay me back. When I was younger, I had several family member’s help me out. They never asked for anything in return. It may be a fine line, but it’s the right side of the line. It’s all done in LOVE.

    God is LOVE

  15. 15 GB
    April 20, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Basic Reformation theory excludes works, but the attempt to keep them away from the front door simply means that they knock loudly at the back door. No self-criticism had more impact than that of Deiterich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister who in 1945 courageously gave his life for opposition to Hitler. He had written on the unchristian carelessness that often came from assuming that “grace alone does everything.” He called that “cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Macmillan Co., 1963), p.47.)

    Billy Graham repeated Bonhoeffer’s phrases in evaluating conservative Protestants “Too often we have tended toward superficiality—an overemphasis on easy-believism or experience rather than on true discipleship. We have sometimes offered cheap grace and cheap conversions without genuine repentance.” (“Candid Conversation with the Evangelist,” Christianity Today, July 17, 1981, p.19.)

    Dependable people know that their acts are important, for they control them. Religious people who have successfully struggled will not believe that their daily choices mean nothing for salvation.

    As Paul taught in Rom 2,

    6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    . . .
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    Jesus also taught this principle with;

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Jesus only asks us to repent and be obedient to His commandments, a small price to pay for what He has done for us. This is Biblical Christianity. This is Mormonism.

  16. April 20, 2009 at 3:50 am

    This web board gets very repetitive.

  17. 17 GB
    April 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    jm,

    When my wife and I bought our first home we borrowed the down payment money from both my parents and her parents. They loaned it to us because they loved us and wanted to help. Although they didn’t ask for repayment, we repaid them every single penny, because WE LOVED THEM and appreciated the sacrifice that they had made for us.

    Although we can NEVER fully repay Jesus for what He has done for us, we would be ungrateful and slothful servants not to do everything in our power to follow Him in both word and deed.

    How can a man know the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger to him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

    Matt. 6:24 ¶ No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

  18. 18 ADB
    April 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    GB,

    The problem with your analogy is that you yourself admitted that your parents didn’t ask for repayment. That is exactly how Christians view God’s gift of salvation–God has given it in Christ Jesus not asking for any repayment. It’s free.

    Nevertheless, Christians will draw the same conclusion you did and want to repay/thank the giver of the gift. Your parents, though, did not give the gift because of anything you did, but only because, in your words, “they loved [you].”

    Seems your illustration better explains the Christian understanding of the relationship between works and salvation than it does the Mormon understanding. It’s all about tying conditions to the gift. Your parents didn’t attach any when they gave you the down payment money, and God didn’t attach any when he won our salvation.

    That reality, however, won’t keep me from wanting to thank him and “pay it back” with my entire life of obedience because of how much I love him in return.

  19. 19 jm
    April 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    GB,

    I hope the way they pay me back, is to show the same kind of Love to there children.

    God is Love

  20. 20 GB
    April 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    ADB,

    Sorry but it wasn’t an analogy. It was my personal experience. I didn’t present it as representing what the Bible teaches about the requirements for salvation other than if we love God we will obey Him.

    “God has given it in Christ Jesus not asking for any repayment. It’s free.”

    That is the problem with the “protestant” position. God has asked for something in return for His gift. He calls them COMMANDMENTS. The very existence of the COMMANDMENTS is prima facie evidence that God has asked for something in return. :-)

  21. 21 faithoffathers
    April 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I suppose we just simply lucked out! Sure glad I wasn’t born before Christ. Those poor folks got the raw deal- having to actually obey God and serve Him in order to receive His blessings. Now, all we have to do is believe in His Son- or the earthly incarnation of God. We receive absolutely freely with little effort what others had to work, sacrifice, and endure for. Suckers.

    Sorry to be facetious. But one really has to think about this. Christ’s atonement did bring about a change- a change in the mode He used to teach of that atonement. That’s it! The atonement was operative before it was actually carried out by Christ. Modifications were made because Israel was so disposed to fall away and miss the message about the Messiah. Hence, the Lord used very concrete, even primitive ordinances and mechanisms to direct the hearts of Israel to the atonement. In other words, the commandments which needed to be obeyed were modified- not the whole requirement for obedience. It is over-interpretting in a huge way to say that after the atonement, repentence and obedience were no longer required for salvation. It is simply not Biblical or consistent with Christ’s words. And it makes no sense.

    Let’s say for argument sake that you are right that we simply have to believe in Christ to be saved and that works play no role in salvation (other than to show gratitude). What of those billions of people who lived before 33 A.D.? How were they saved? Or were they all damned? Also (side topic), how could those obedient people be saved if they didn’t understand the atonement of Christ and believe on Him? Are they brought up to speed after this life? Sound familiar? So either they are damned for not understanding and believing in Christ, or they are educated after this life. Or God just saves them because they were obedient to Him. Which is it?

    Sorry to ramble.

    fof

  22. 22 GERMIT
    April 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    jm: like what you have going between you and your kids…..OK…you can have the Cooper. Maybe I can get one of my relatives to leave me one.

    PS to Joseph: yes, the ‘faith vs. works’ thing tends to go round and round…… I’m kind of bored by it.

    GERmIT

  23. 23 jm
    April 21, 2009 at 5:41 am

    GERMIT, Godd luck with your relatives. I need a new cooper, i drive a 98 dodge truck with 200,000 miles.

  24. April 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Well, when it comes to a Protestant and Mormon discussing obedience to commandments even the commandments are somewhat different. When a Protestant talks about the commandments it is generally assumed to be only the 10 commandments, but the LDS church has more in addition to that.

  25. April 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Does everyone agree with Isaiah that all our righteous deeds are like a filthy menstrual garment (Isaiah 64:6)?

  26. 26 GERMIT
    April 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Joseph: I think those verses in Isaiah need context badly. Israel was putting on a big religious SHOW at the time, making a big deal of ceremony, while cold heartedly ignoring the poor, the widow, and the orphan. It would be a mistake to put ALL WORKS done at all times, for all reasons in that category. Jesus said a LOT about works, and a lot about believing in HIM: this is not an either/or….it’s a both/and.

    You’re pleased by the good works of your kids, I’d assume.
    Like your zeal, by the way.

    GERMIT

  27. 27 GB
    April 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Germit,

    “Jesus said a LOT about works, and a lot about believing in HIM: this is not an either/or….it’s a both/and.”

    There you go again, sounding like a Mormon. :-)

    You are correct!

    For example.

    Matt 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Which one of the ten commandments was that?

  28. 28 GERMIT
    April 21, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    GB: if you could get me a special allowance for coffee, beer, and sometimes i wear eye make-up….. I’m sure you have connections….

    GERMIT

  29. April 22, 2009 at 4:19 am

    GERMIT, why wait for GB to give you permission? The Mormons is Joseph Smith’s day knew how to celebrate :).

    “Elders Orson Hyde, Luke S. Johnson, and Warren Parrish, then presented the Presidency with three servers of glasses filled with wine, to bless. And it fell to my lot to attend to this duty, which I cheerfully discharged. It was then passed round in order, then the cake in the same order; and suffice it to say, our hearts were made glad while partaking of the bounty of earth which was presented, until we had taken our fill; and joy filled every bosom, and the countenances of old and young seemed to bloom alike with cheerfulness and smiles of youth; and an entire unison of feeling seemed to pervade the congregation, and indeed I doubt whether the pages of history can boast of a more splendid and innocent wedding and feast than this, for it was conducted after the order of heave, which has a time for all things; and this time being a time of rejoicing, we heartily embraced it and conducted ourselves according.” – (January 1836, History of the Church, volume II, p. 378).

    hehe

  30. April 22, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Sorry for my grammar mistakes in the last post.

  31. April 22, 2009 at 5:50 am

    The Word of Wisdom was not widely enforced in the LDS Church until the administration of Pres. Heber J. Grant. Before then, it was taken as the original D&C passage reads – “by way of suggestion.”

  32. 32 GERMIT
    April 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Seth: I can handle ALMOST anything that comes in this package: “by way of suggestion.”

    it’s a shame that they had to go and get “more revelation” this is the spirit of the pharisees and high priests way back when who were adding x, y, and a whole lot of z’s to the real Mosaic law….. good ideas taken WAY too far.

    and with two sibs with NA and AA experience , no one has to tell me about the possible dangers of mind altering stuff….but the “cure” can be MUCH worse than the disease.

    Like your posts
    GERMIT

  33. 33 GERMIT
    April 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Seth: PS: the same “good idea gone way into legalism” is why folks are leaving Southern Baptist type churches in droves…(among other reasons); old school legalism is just not that attractive, and ev’s are figuring that out.

    GERMIT

  34. April 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I don’t know germit.

    My own family line has a history of alcoholism and I have a rather obsessive-compulsive personality.

    It’s just as well I had a little “legalism” in my life, and dodged that bullet entirely, don’t you think?

  35. 35 GERMIT
    April 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Seth: I’d say you should know…and my one year older than me brother is in the same boat, and that’s great: what’s not so great is taking that (back to the “suggestion”) and applying what is truely WISDOM for you and my bro, and making a “thou shalt” out of it. That’s when things go weird.

    praise GOD that HE has given you insight into yourself
    GERMIT

    Big PS: LEGALISM can, and does , kill just as effectively as alcoholism, that would be my big deal. Both are lethal.

  36. April 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    If it hadn’t been a legalism germit, it might have been INCREDIBLY damaging to my family.

    While I acknowledge that legalism is premised on a suboptimal interface with God. I’m still pretty darn grateful for it.

    Which is why I tend to be fairly unmoved by touchy-feely Evangelical self-esteem workshop spawned handwringing on the issue.

    Legalism may not be optimal. But it’s definitely better than nothing. And with flawed human beings, sometimes you just have to accept what you can get. For other people, the letter of the law is the necessary schoolmaster before a true understanding of God.

  37. 37 GB
    April 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Germit: Big PS: LEGALISM can, and does , kill just as effectively as alcoholism,. . .

    GB: Maybe, but Alcoholism kills several orders of magnitude more effectively than obedience to the “Word of Wisdom”, if killing is your objective.

    But then, obedience to the “Word of Wisdom” saves life several orders of magnitude more effectively than Alcoholism, if saving life is your objective.

  38. 38 GERMIT
    April 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    GB: this comes down to GERMIT considers the Word of Wisdom as just that: wisdom, not a command…if that’s the LDS take on this, then we don’t have a disagreement; if there is a command aspect to it, then…. again, depending on the individual, total abstinence may be the best possible route, but Jesus at HIS first public miracle made ridiculous amounts of WINE at a wedding….this isn’t GOD helping people get drunk, but HIS view and the modern (religious) view of alcohol may be at odds.

    to recap: alcohol does not have to be a destructive agent, so a (general) prohibition against it is going where even GOD has not gone; this is what more and more ev.’s are waking up to (the same with electric guitar and strong bass line in music, and I could make a LONG list because ev’s have been as insanely legalistic as any other tribe I know of…this is a sickness.

    GERMIT

  39. April 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I would point out that Mormons don’t even keep the Word of Wisdom now. The part about only eating meat “in times of winter, or of cold, or famine” (D&C 89:13) is almost entirely ignored, and I don’t really buy the refrigeration defense. Seems to me like the church is only enforcing what it can get away with. It can get away with telling people not to drink coffee, tea, alcohol or smoke; for most people those are relatively minor lifestyle changes. It can’t get away with telling everyone to be vegetarians upon conversion, so it doesn’t try.

  40. 40 GB
    April 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Germit,

    Just to be clear, I don’t think God will keep anyone out of heaven because of a few drinks once in a while.

    I think that if you want to understand why the general membership of the church voted to hold the “word of wisdom” as a commandment you should carefully read the first 5 or so verses of D&C 89 found here. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89

  41. 41 GB
    April 22, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    BJM: I don’t really buy the refrigeration defense.

    GB: Even though it is built into Sec 89, you know the “or of cold” part? :-)

    Bridget, which is harder for you to accept, Sec 89 coming from God,
    OR, the “refrigeration defense”?

  42. April 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Jack, I made that point during Elders Quorum. We were discussing the Word of Wisdom and the teacher made the mistake of asking “what does this say to you.”

    I raise my hand:

    Me -”It says God doesn’t want us to eat any meat.”

    Other guy (indignant) – “It doesn’t say no meat at all!”

    Me cutting in – “Yeah, it gives an exception for times of famine – which doesn’t apply to anyone in this room.”

    Uncomfortable pause. Then we moved on.

  43. April 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    It says to only eat the meat in times of cold, GB. Not if the food is cold. Seriously, the refrigeration defense is, like, the worst exegesis ever.

    Are you a vegetarian, Seth? I may have to sponsor you if you are.

  44. 44 GERMIT
    April 22, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Seth: you crack me up….we are the same kind of bad boy….rabble rouser, pot stirrer, etc. I’d be just as ornery, if given the opportunity, if my church homies wanted to make being a tee totaller some kind of litmus test for membership, or even leadership.

    guess that’s why they love us , so.

    GERMIT

    GB: thanks for the heads up on sec 89; I’ll read that tonight after errands. JS was sure banking on your take in the “few drinks” dept. (which doesn’t disturb me in the least)

  45. April 22, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    No Jack. I love steak.

    And I’m a filthy hypocrite.

  46. April 22, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    My husband’s favorite saying on the subject is, “Vegetables are what food eats.”

  47. 47 GB
    April 22, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Bridget,

    So how are YOU able to divine that “in times of cold” had NOTHING to do with the inability to safely meat storage at the time?

    Why is your interpretation better than that of the LDS Church? Are you better able to understand our scriptures than us?

    Are you neglecting other scripture? Like this one;

    D&C 49:18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
    19 For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.

    Or how about this one.

    D&C 59:16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
    17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
    18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
    19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
    20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

  48. 48 GB
    April 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    That is “safely store meat at the time?”

  49. April 22, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    It’s the immediate context of the passage which defines what it means, GB. What does “famine” have to do with safe food preservation and storage? It’s saying that you should eat meat only if the need to eat is dire, when food is scarce—which can happen in times of famine, winter or cold.

    D&C 49 & 59 came in 1831. D&C 89 came in 1833, and I was always taught that subsequent revelation takes priority over past revelation, so 89 is the lens through which you should interpret 49 & 59, not the other way around. Yes, eating meat is okay—if necessary.

    Your own church leaders took it that way in the past, too:

    From 1898 to 1901, church president Lorenzo Snow repeatedly emphasized the importance of eating meat sparingly, teaching that church members should refrain from eating meat except in case of dire necessity, and should be seen in light of Joseph Smith’s teaching that animals have spirits. Apostle George Teasdale taught the same thing, and held that eating pork was a more serious breach of the Word of Wisdom than drinking tea or coffee.

    This is not something I made up on my own, and frankly, I can’t say I care for your “you’re a dumb non-member who just doesn’t get it” tone.

    If the LDS church wants to change its mind on the issue, fine by me, the mechanism is there, but I’d rather hear Mormons saying “Yes, this doctrine has changed” than making up some stupid story about not having refrigerators back in the day so that they can feel better about picking and choosing which parts of the Word of Wisdom they want to keep.

  50. April 22, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    My bad, I got people off the topic of talking about “is Jesus my creditor?” to Word of Wisdom issues :).

  51. 51 germit
    April 23, 2009 at 3:04 am

    OK, Joseph S: thou must eat tofu and wash it down with cold Postum or warm diet Dr.Pepper (your choice)….how’s that for penance ??

    Germit

  52. April 23, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Can’t I just buy and indulgence? :)

  53. 54 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Bridget,

    Calm down, ok.

    Nothing in Sec 89 regarding meats conflicts with 49 or 59, but simply clarifies. Forbidding meat is not of God (even the Bible tell us that See 1 Tim 4:3).

    Sorry but the word “sparingly” doesn’t mean “never”.

    Now notice the difference in wording when discussing wine or strong drink; “behold it is NOT GOOD, NEITHER MEET in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
    6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
    7 And, again, strong drinks ARE NOT FOR THE BELLY, but for the washing of your bodies.”

    Tobacco; “tobacco is NOT FOR THE BODY, NEITHER FOR THE BELLY, and is NOT GOOD for man”

    Hot drinks (which being interpreted means coffee and tea); “hot drinks are NOT for the body or belly.”

    Now back to meat; “Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ORDAINED FOR THE USE OF MAN WITH THANKSGIVING; nevertheless they are to be USED sparingly;
    13 And it is PLEASING unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

    The Lord only says that “it is pleasing unto” Him, so even He is NOT forbidding its use in the summer time.

    And for you to “claim” that we don’t keep the word of wisdom because we have a steak in the summer time is very much being “legalistic” as Germit has said.

    I can’t quite tell if you are screaming about the mote in my eye, or if you are just being like a Pharisee or both.

    Cheers and God bless. And give that husband of yours a hug and a kiss for loving you anyway.

  54. 55 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Joseph: My bad, I got people off the topic of talking about “is Jesus my creditor?” to Word of Wisdom issues :).

    GB: It is ok, the real topic had been very much put to rest, so we all needed a distraction.

  55. April 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    It’s OK GB, we have these grace vs. works discussions a lot. This one seemed to have played out already by the time we started discussing this.

    But one more thing here… the Lord says it is pleasing that meat not be used at all.

    A question for you:

    How do you feel about deliberately refusing to do something that the Lord has declared to be “pleasing” unto him?

  56. 57 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Seth,

    Come on now, add the rest of the statement.

    “And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

    Like I said before, there is no commandment there.

    If you have mastered all of the “weightier matters” ie. commandments and are down to worrying about when and how much meat you eat, then good for you. And if you are down to worrying about when and how much meat others eat, then bad for you.

    I and possibly Germit have “weightier matters” to attend to, than worrying about how much meat I am eating.

    Keep in mind the words of Paul.
    Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
    14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, (OR LACK THERE OF) for whom Christ died.
    16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
    17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

  57. April 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Who cares if it isn’t a commandment?

    And who ever suggested it was? I didn’t.

    Go re-read D&C 58:26 and get back to me.

  58. April 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    GB ~ Calm down, ok.

    You come off as extremely condescending when you say things like this. I have a degree from Brigham Young University and I had four scholars from FARMS come to my wedding, plus 5-6 professors from the religion department. Do you really think I’m incapable of discussing disagreements with Mormons without remaining calm?

    13 And it is PLEASING unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

    The Lord only says that “it is pleasing unto” Him, so even He is NOT forbidding its use in the summer time.

    If you’re okay with deliberately ignoring something which is “pleasing” to God, that’s your call. Personally I find that to be about the stupidest justification I’ve ever heard in my life. “Lord, you mean that’s just a polite request and not a commandment? Well, then I’m not doing it. SUCKA!”

    And for the record, so far I haven’t used the words “forbid” or “commandment” in reference to D&C 89:13. I’ve said Mormons almost entirely ignore that part of the Word of Wisdom, and I still think that’s a fair assessment.

    Now honestly, as far as this whole “Mormons eating meat” thing goes, this is how I feel about it. I don’t have anything against eating meat. I don’t believe animals have souls and I’m an Alaska native who uses their little furry carcasses for home decor, so what do I care? I mostly just keep D&C 89:13 in supply as a trump card if Mormons bother me about drinking Coke or wearing tank tops. If they think I’m bad for not keeping standards I haven’t even agreed to keep, you bet I’m going to point out to them that they aren’t keeping their own standards.

    And give that husband of yours a hug and a kiss for loving you anyway.

    I asked my husband about this. He says it’s rough having a wife who is so terribly smart and beautiful, but we all have our crosses to bear.

  59. 60 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Bridget: I mostly just keep D&C 89:13 in supply as a trump card if Mormons bother me about drinking Coke or wearing tank tops.

    GB: Since no one here did either of the things then why did you bring it up?

  60. April 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Because I think it’s pertinent to a discussion on Mormon attitudes toward the Word of Wisdom, and I take every opportunity possible to make sure other people are aware that this discrepancy exists.

  61. 62 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Bridget,

    So it is the mote thing then. Thanks for clearing that up.

  62. 63 GERMIT
    April 23, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    OK, since we’ve wandered off the beaten trail, let me tap into the LDS brain trust here and ask an ‘outsider’ question: WHAT THE HECK IS THIS (below) ALL ABOUT ??

    And, again, strong drinks ARE NOT FOR THE BELLY, but for the washing of your bodies.”

    I’ll try to stifle myself till I know what this thing is…….

    thanks,
    GERMIT

    JACK: you comments above remind me of all the fundamentalist types (years ago, I hope) that called out the EEEEEEEVUHL of big screen movies, while taking in hard “R” HBO at home (or worse); my point being , this insanity goes far, far, beyond Salt Lake City. If sin makes us stupid, then legalism makes us lotzz stooopidder.

  63. April 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    GB ~ So it is the mote thing then. Thanks for clearing that up.

    It’s more of a beam thing. The Mormons who pat themselves on the back for “keeping” the Word of Wisdom and criticize the lifestyle choices of others when they make no effort to watch their meat intake are the ones with the beams. Not you? Then don’t worry about it.

    As for me, I’m just full of motes and beams. Never claimed otherwise.

    Germit ~ I agree that “legalism” is bad, but I also think that to some extent, legalism is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, we think it’s crazy that Mormons don’t drink coffee or alcohol or tea at all among all of their other rules, but to some people, we’re too legalistic for expecting people to go to church every Sunday and not have sex before marriage.

    I used to talk online with members of a polygamous group which started off as an LDS splinter group, but eventually abandoned Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and started claiming they were “evangelical.” Among many other things, they taught that women had to wear head coverings to church as per 1 Corinthians 11 and that a man shouldn’t have sex with his wife for the week of her period or the week after because apparently that’s in the law of Moses. I’m sure even Mormons would gasp at that and say, “How legalistic!”

    I would hope that my LDS friends are more concerned about keeping the spirit of their laws than the letter of their laws, but that’s really up to them.

  64. 65 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Bridget,

    I agree that some of “The Mormons who pat themselves on the back for “keeping” the Word of Wisdom and criticize the lifestyle choices of others when they make no effort to watch their meat intake are the ones with the beams.”

    But by you bringing it up here, makes it a mote thing. :-)

    Germit,

    Basically it means alcohol (strong drinks) is for washing the body not drinking (the belly).

    There you go, now you can un-stifle yourself.

  65. April 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    GB ~ But by you bringing it up here, makes it a mote thing.

    Nonsense. This is a Mormonism discussion blog and the widespread discrepancy between LDS doctrine and practice on this issue makes it a topic of Mormon discussion. For you to accuse me of Phariseeism and motes & beams just for bringing it up is pure ad hominem.

  66. 67 GB
    April 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Bridget,

    So which is more displeasing to the Lord, eating meat in the summer or being immodest in public?

  67. April 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    What does this have to do with anything GB?

  68. April 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Seth asks a good question.

    But to answer your question GB, from my Protestant sola scriptura perspective, being immodest is worse. God made all meats clean to eat in Acts 10:9-16, but modesty is admonished directly, plus the Bible makes it clear in many places that clothing always tells a story about who we are.

    If I were LDS, I imagine my answer would be different.

  69. 70 GB
    April 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Seth, Bridget,

    Bridget admits that she is immodest in public by “wearing tank tops”, and yet she is condemning “Mormons” for doing something that she admits is less displeasing to the Lord.

    She substantiates my case for this being a mote thing. :-)

    That is why I asked the question.

  70. April 27, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Fascinating GB.

    Really, quite extraordinary.

    Wonderful turn this conversation has taken.

  71. April 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this much fail in one thread.

    Bridget admits that she is immodest in public by “wearing tank tops”

    Immodesty is a cultural standard GB, largely subject to the eye of the beholder. Most non-Mormons don’t consider shoulder-baring attire “immodest.” Most world cultures don’t consider shoulder-baring attire “immodest.” I certainly don’t, and there is nothing in my scriptures which tell me not to show off my shoulders. So no, I have never admitted to being immodest in public.

    yet she is condemning “Mormons”

    I haven’t condemned any Mormons for anything. Try again.

    She substantiates my case for this being a mote thing.

    This is the third time you’ve repeated this sorry ad hominem. I guess you’re of the opinion that saying something stupid over and over again somehow makes it true?

  72. 73 GB
    April 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    B: Immodesty is a cultural standard GB, largely subject to the eye of the beholder.

    GB: I am sure that Jesus would agree with that statement. sarc/off.

    B: Most non-Mormons don’t consider shoulder-baring attire “immodest.”

    GB: I suggest you look up the logical fallacy known as “Ad Populum”.

    B: I certainly don’t, and there is nothing in my scriptures which tell me not to show off my shoulders.

    GB: Oh, and I am sure that Jesus would agree with you. sarc/off.

    Do you think that Paul had bare shoulders in mind when he wrote 1 Tim 2:9-10?

    B: So no, I have never admitted to being immodest in public.

    GB: Not to yourself, no. Keep denying it and maybe it will not be so. LOL!!!

    B: I haven’t condemned any Mormons for anything. Try again.

    GB: Yeah, right.

    B: This is the third time you’ve repeated this sorry ad hominem.

    GB: Do you really understand what that means?

    B: I guess you’re of the opinion that saying something stupid over and over again somehow makes it true?

    GB: Like “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”?

  73. April 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    GB ~ I am sure that Jesus would agree with that statement. sarc/off. … Oh, and I am sure that Jesus would agree with you. sarc/off.

    Are you prepared to show me where Jesus said otherwise? Or are you claiming to speak for Him now?

    Do you think that Paul had bare shoulders in mind when he wrote 1 Tim 2:9-10?

    Have you ever looked at Greek and Roman frescoes, engravings and other art from the era? Bare shoulders (for both men and women) were incredibly common in 1st century Ephesus. The fact that Paul doesn’t specifically prohibit the practice is a strong indication that he was fine with it.

    But even if he was against it, so what? He orders married women to wear head coverings in the congregation in 1 Corinthians 11:5, yet most Christian women don’t do that today for any denomination. Why? Because head coverings have a different significance in our culture than they did in 1st century Greco-Roman-Jewish culture. In that culture it was a sign of respect toward one’s husband (among other things). In Protestant culture today it’s considered disrespectful toward God for people of either gender to wear head attire, so we don’t.

    Paul also specifically condemns “braided hair” in the very passage you cite. Do Mormons forbid women from braiding their hair? Of course not, and neither do Protestants. Both groups recognize that braided hair no longer carries the same cultural significance today that it did when Paul wrote 1 Timothy.

    Cultural trends change, and in my culture (both religious and secular), showing off shoulders isn’t considered immodest. Even in LDS culture, lots of Mormons believe there’s nothing wrong with showing off shoulders until you get your temple recommend. Someone at the LDS ward just said as much to me yesterday when I visited with my husband.

    I suggest you look up the logical fallacy known as “Ad Populum”.

    We’re discussing cultural propriety. “Ad Populum” is the only argument that matters.

    Do you really understand what [ad hominem] means?

    Of course I do. It means your attempts to justify institutionalized LDS disregard for the meat guidelines in the Word of Wisdom have failed miserably, so now you’re making desperate personal attacks on me, accusing me of immodesty and Phariseeism. It’s really quite pathetic, but I guess it’s all you’ve got.

    Like “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”, “tank tops aren’t immodest”?

    There’s a Pentecostal evangelical denomination headquartered out here in Northwestern Washington called New Testament Christian Church. Their compound is in the town of Graham, Washington, and my father’s house is right on the border of Spanaway and Graham; when I was in high school I drove by the compound every time I visited my own church in Sumner. There’s some pretty wide consensus among other evangelicals that NTCC is a cult. Among many other disturbing teachings, they teach that women should not wear pants—ANY pants at all—because it’s immodest for a woman to have fabric nestled “snuggly against her vulva.” I’m not making this up; that is what they teach.

    So who’s right, the Mormon who tells me my tank tops are immodest, or the hyper-Pentecostal cult who tells me my pants are immodest?

    I say you’re both full of it.

  74. 75 GB
    April 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    B: But even if he was against it, so what?

    GB: Keep on rationalizing.

    Go ahead and let popular culture dictate what you call modesty. What do some non-Mormon Christians say?

    “We must remember what battles men face to stay pure as they are stimulated visually by women,” Mohler said. “They should never have it flaunted in their faces, and to have it done at church is an abomination.

    “Whenever I speak on this,” she said, “mothers of sons say, ‘Please continue to proclaim this message wherever you can . . . We don’t have daughters . . . but we have sons that are looking at how [other parents’] daughters dress.”

    “Christian Women Have Obligation to Dress Modestly, Mary Mohler Says,” http://www.bpnews.net (Baptist Press), October 9, 2002

    * Modesty is a delicate yet formidable power that God has given to you.
    * Since immodesty creates arousal in many men, it misses the mark of God’s intended purpose for you. It’s not just fashion. It’s sin.
    * The allure of immodesty is not in what is seen but what is not seen. Modesty issues a challenge for one man to romantically earn your virtue.
    * A girl’s modesty is first noted by her external presentation, but if it’s not followed by the confidence of internal modesty, she still forfeits the power of her virtue.
    * Modesty is possible only if you truly love God. When you love Him, you will be able to obey Him in the way that you dress.

    Dannah Gresh, Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty (Chicago: Moody Press, 2002), 67.

    “Although boys need to learn how to present themselves appropriately, modesty in clothing is a particularly critical issue for girls. Some girls naturally seem to have more modest tastes, while others gravitate toward more immodest types of clothing. Especially when young, they don’t understand consciously how accentuating certain parts of the body affects boys and men. Boys do pay more attention to a more enticing appearance. That’s enjoyable for girls, so they may lean even more toward this kind of dress to attract even more attention. They don’t fully realize the values they are portraying and what type of boys they’re wooing.”

    Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Parenting Today’s Adolescent (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998), 186.

    “In a world that constantly bombards us with impurity and immodesty, we feel called to take a stand against what the world is telling us is acceptable. Especially in the area of clothing and modesty.”

    Bios (Barlow Girl) [Accessed November 11, 2005]

    “Any biblical discussion of modesty begins with the heart, not the hemline. What fruit of the Spirit is seen in the modestly dressed woman? Self-control: an intentional restraint and moderation for the purpose of purity.

    “Modesty, therefore, is simply humility expressed in dress. The humble Christian woman who understands this passage will have a wardrobe that expresses self-control, moderation, and restraint. What she wears will demonstrate that she lives with a settled resistance to the ceaseless pull of the world. She will dress to show the grace and beauty of womanhood and to reveal a humble heart—not to call attention to herself, flaunt her beauty, impress her peers, or allure men sexually.

    C. J. Mahaney, The Soul of Modesty (Sovereign Grace Ministries) [Accessed November 11, 2005]

    “Christians are wise to remember that modesty is biblically mandated.”

    Mary K. Mohler, “Modeling Modesty,” in Southern Seminary Magazine, Winter 2003, 17.

    “We must not allow our standards of modesty and discretion [to] be subject to the whims of fashion and popular culture.”

    Annie Chapman, 10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2002), 34.

    “Modesty, like many virtues begins at home. Parents are key in training their children, both male and female in either modesty or immodesty. When something is precious and valuable, it deserves protection. Modesty as a virtue is not limited to clothing. Modesty includes conduct, gestures, language, reading and thought. Parental habits influence and train children in each of these areas.

    “Training children in modesty begins early. If parents wait to address modesty until prom preparation and high school dances, it is too late. The selection of clothing in early childhood begins shaping the preferences for later life. Before selecting body hugging and skin revealing clothes because they are ‘cute,’ consider if you want your son or daughter wearing similar items as a teen. Encouraging pre-teens to wear thongs and seductive garments only encourages further immodest behaviors.”

    Jeffrey D. Murrah, Modesty: A Lost Virtue?

    “In First Timothy, women are told to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, and not with expensive clothes (1 Tim. 2:9). There is obviously a connection between how one’s body is displayed and sexual attraction. This is true for men as well as women. Immodest dress that overly reveals one’s body often encourages sexual lust which is sin. The Bible says in Matthew, ‘anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’ (Matt. 5:28). This applies to women as well as men. For this reason all Christians should dress appropriately and maintain wardrobes that honor Christ and do not lead others away from His Kingdom.

    Modesty in Physical Appearance

    “What we do with our bodies, and yes, even how we clothe them, reflects our worldview, our spirituality, and our virtue. Of course, a carnal person may dress in a modest manner. External modesty may be used as a mere facade. But a spiritual person will not dress immodestly. A person who is dressing or acting in a wanton or ostentatious fashion is someone with an inner problem, either emotional, moral, or spiritual. And that inner problem is manifesting itself in the appearance.”

    David and Diane Vaughn, The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture (Nashville: Candlewick Press, 2005), 64.

  75. April 27, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    GB ~ That’s a nice list of quotes, but we have already established that I am pro-modesty. There isn’t a single thing in any one of those quotes that I disagree with, other than the tendency to make guarding men’s thoughts the responsibility of women.

    Well, okay, I do disagree with this one:

    “We must not allow our standards of modesty and discretion [to] be subject to the whims of fashion and popular culture.”

    I have shown that culture always dictates what is and isn’t modest, even if some people refuse to admit it. If we were really about doing exactly what the Bible says and disregarding cultural propriety, women would be wearing head coverings and not braiding their hair. Mormons aren’t any different. If Mormons really believed in ignoring cultural trends, the garment would still be a one-piece monstrosity that came to your ankles and wrists. Personally, I think there’s a good chance that the garment will be sleeveless before the end of my lifetime, but that’s just my guess.

    In any case, my contention is that tank tops and shoulder-baring attire are not in themselves immodest, and not a single one of your quotes says otherwise. You can keep trying, but I think you’ll have a hard time finding non-LDS Christian sources who cling to that level of legalism.

    When you’re ready to climb down off your Rameumptom and quit judging us tank top wearers, give me a call.

  76. 77 GB
    April 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    B: I have shown that culture always dictates what is and isn’t modest, even if some people refuse to admit it.

    GB: You haven’t “shown” squat!!! You have only made bald assertions.

    If your minister got up and boldly declared “tank tops are immodest!!”, what would you do?

  77. April 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    GB ~ If your minister got up and boldly declared “tank tops are immodest!!”, what would you do?

    I would remind him what soul competency is and tell him that he has no more authority to delineate what the Bible means by “modesty” than I do.

    However, I have worn tank tops to a great number of evangelical Sunday services, youth activities, and other church functions, and have never been told that I needed to be more modest. Check out these photos from Creation Festival 2007 East, an evangelical music festival (I’ve gone to the West coast version many times). You can see that many of the evangelical band members, speakers and concert-goers are wearing tank tops or other shoulder-baring attire. It’s considered perfectly normal and modest in evangelical culture.

  78. April 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    In any case GB, as much fun as it’s been to hear you shriek about how my tank tops are immodest, I have done an in-depth post on the topic at my blog. If you want to discuss it there, great, but I’m done discussing it with you here. Take care.

  79. 80 GB
    April 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    B: I have shown that culture always dictates what is and isn’t modest, even if some people refuse to admit it.

    GB: You apparently missed a few things.

    “In a world that constantly bombards us with impurity and immodesty, we feel called to take a stand against what the world is telling us is acceptable. Especially in the area of clothing and modesty.”

    Bios (Barlow Girl) [Accessed November 11, 2005]

    “We must not allow our standards of modesty and discretion [to] be subject to the whims of fashion and popular culture.”

    Annie Chapman, 10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2002), 34.

  80. April 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Now you’re back to your dumb habit of repeating things I have already refuted. I mean, I even quoted that statement by Annie Chapman and responded to it, and you quote the first line of my response and then repeat what Chapman said as if I ignored it. You simply amaze me GB. It’s one thing to be unable to think critically; it’s quite another to be unable to read.

    I have now officially reached the point where even humiliating you has grown dull and I would rather stab myself in the face repeatedly than continue this conversation, so I’m done. My one comfort lies in the fact that you’re Mormon and reading your comments makes me feel less embarrassed that there are so many intellectually bankrupt losers among the ranks of evangelical Christianity. We have the short-bus brigade at CARM; Mormonism has GB. “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11a)

  81. April 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I will say I usually enjoy GB’s contribution and his ability to reference scripture to add to the conversation.

    But I kinda thought this modesty exchange was…

    To put it delicately, not quite so useful.

  82. 83 GB
    April 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    The problem here is your critical think skills. You have not refuted anything but have done no more than make bald assertions that even other non-Mormon Christians disagree with.

    Saying that culture dictates modesty doesn’t make it so.

    Currently culture is dictating that young girls must dress like prostitutes. Is dressing like a prostitute being immodest? Do you dress your daughter like a prostitute because culture is dictating it? If not why not?

    “However, I have worn tank tops to a great number of evangelical Sunday services, youth activities, and other church functions,. . . ”

    Add a little makeup and you too can look like a whore. But hey why avoid the appearance of evil right.

    1 Thes 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    Get a clue Bridget, those who are immodest are not qualified to make a righteous judgment on what is or is not modest. They, like you are trying to justify their immodesty.

    John 7:17 If any man will DO his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    Any one, who is immodest (LIKE YOU), will not be able to properly judge what is or is not modest. Only those who ARE modest can rightfully judge.

    Do you actually think that you would be comfortable standing in front of the Lord in a tank top?

  83. 84 ADB
    April 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    GB,

    I think she’ll be covered (no pun intended) … the Lord won’t see the tank top; he’ll only see her covered in the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

    I suppose for the same reason, I’d be comfortable sporting a speedo in front of the Lord, though I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to witness that:)

  84. 85 GERMIT
    April 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    ADB:

    thank you (about the speedo thing)

    GERMIT

  85. April 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    GB ~ Do you actually think that you would be comfortable standing in front of the Lord in a tank top?

    Absolutely, 100%, emphatically, yes.

    You, on the other hand, will probably not be so comfortable when you have to answer for having called His bride a whore (Matthew 12:36). Good luck with that.

  86. 87 GERMIT
    April 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Interesting, and maybe a little snarky, thread….

    considering the fact that Jesus was very involved in our creation, how much of us has HE NOT seen already ?? I think clothes are kind of optional here, eh ???

    GERMIT

  87. 88 GB
    April 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Bridget,

    I didn’t call His bride a whore. How interesting that you have resorted to false accusations. (Matt 12:36) Good luck with that.

  88. April 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Oooo… Bible Thumping! Now the plowshare has been beaten into a bludgeoning stick!

  89. April 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Germit ~ considering the fact that Jesus was very involved in our creation, how much of us has HE NOT seen already ?? I think clothes are kind of optional here, eh ???

    Ya think? The notion that there’s some level of my skin Jesus could see which would embarrass me is the funniest thing I’ve heard all week.

    Well, scratch that. The funniest thing I’ve heard all week was my friend Katie Langston’s podcast on the YW chastity lesson, “The Twinkie Smear.” Angry anti-tank-top Jesus is the second funniest thing I’ve heard all week.

  90. 91 GERMIT
    April 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    in fairness to GB, I don’t think he ever said that Jesus was angry at your tank top….maybe he had some other response in mind, just guessing here. It’s more the church ladies who get mad….the guys say “tsk..tsk….tsk….” and look again :-)

    GERmIT


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