Your total submission to liberal theology and doctrine is not only demanded, but any disbelief will be met with any sort of punishment they deem necessary. Witness a restaurant owner who has a fervent belief that homosexual marriage is wrong, spent money on the Prop. 8 campaign, and is going to lose her business because of it. (link)
I am going to educate my homosexual readers and homosexual sympathizers on LDS theology. The article I linked to above does not make me happy because it totally mischaracterizes, or at least demonstrates the misunderstanding, of our most basic theology.
Fundamental to all LDS members is the belief that God is alive, all-powerful, all-compassionate, and perfectly just. Because of his perfect sense of justice, he cannot permit the tiniest of uncleanliness into his kingdom. We don’t make the rules. He does. He is the rule. And he demands perfect obedience and perfect subjection of heart, might, mind and soul. Not because he is cruel, but because he is right, and righteous, and there simply is no other way to be happy but his way.
Imagine you are lost and need to get out of the woods to where you want to go. God is there, has the map, he knows the woods, he can read the map and he knows exactly where you are. And he tells you exactly how to get out of the woods. He doesn’t hate you, he isn’t judging you, he is in fact trying to help you. We are lost in the woods, and only God can see the way out. We would do well to listen, even when what he has to say isn’t pretty.
But we don’t. We wander around in our own little ways, rejecting God and his counsel because we are free to do so, and frankly, because it is simply in our nature. We’re all born to do evil. Whether we go about murdering people or telling white lies, we are all equally barred the kingdom of God, equally kept in a state where we can never get out of the woods. There is a broad spectrum of sin, but there is only one righteousness, and we are not it.
Enter Jesus. Jesus reaches down, down, down from his divine throne, and descends below all things and then ascends above all things. Why? Because he and only he can bear the price to be paid to correct our mistakes and make us even with God. Not only that, but he bought us with his blood and only he can claim that he owns us. His perfect life isn’t the only example for us, but his words also, and his words are quite clear: “I am the way”. There is no other way. If anyone says there is another way, they are a liar and are just as lost as everyone else. See if they have any true happiness or peace or righteousness to offer. They do not.
Enter Joseph Smith and all the holy prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, or Peter and Paul. These men who are quite mortal and quite prone to error are called upon, personally, by Jesus, to act as his shepherds and bring us back to Christ. And so these men speak, quite literally, the words Jesus wants them to speak. We can’t argue with these people because there is no argument. Go ahead and try, try to show any of the prophets as false prophets. You’ll come to realize, if you are honest, that there is no way they could’ve done what they did unless they were truly inspired by a much, much higher power.
But more importantly, ask God. “Is such-and-such a true prophet?” If you are sincere, that is, willing to follow through, then the promise is that God will tell you, personally. Why would he do anything less?
We have a choice. We can admit that we are lost, see how much trouble we are in, and turn to these prophets, swallow our pride and follow the prophets until we find Jesus, then follow Jesus until we find God. Or we can keep wandering about the woods and stay lost forever.
It’s our choice. Notice that we had no choice until the prophets show up. And notice what the choice is: follow the prophets and follow Jesus, or do something else. There is only one right choice that can get you out of the woods.
Now, let me be perfectly clear to those people out there who are lost. First, you are lost. Understand that the reason why you are sad all the time, the reason why the world looks so evil, the reason why you think God hates you is because you are living in sin. This doesn’t apply to just homosexuals, it applies to everyone. You can be a stand-up guy, a righteous example in 99% of what you do, but it’s that 1% that drags you down and keeps you from being really, really happy. Or you can be only 2% good and 98% evil in what you do. It doesn’t matter. You are both miserable compared to what you would be if you could somehow obtain 100% righteousness.
I am not the reason you are sad. The prophet who tells you what you are doing wrong is not the reason you are sad. Jesus doesn’t make you sad. Religion doesn’t make you sad. God doesn’t make you sad. You make you sad. See, you have the power to choose to do what’s right or wrong, and you, and ultimately, only you suffer the consequences of your own choices.
When someone out there humbles themselves, bows themselves down to the earth, admits to God that they were wrong all along and that they never want to be wrong again so they are literally giving their wills over to God, when someone does this and receives their personal revelation that it’s going to be alright and when they realize just how precious they are to God and Jesus, and just how light the burden is and they soul fills with everlasting light and they don’t ever thirst again and are filled with the love of God, when this happens, it is something wonderful.
And when you fight against these people, these strangers in a strange land, these folks who have had enough of the world and are looking with divine hope for something better, and they promise themselves to be that force for good in the world not because they want it but God wants it, when you fight against these people you are fighting against God. You are doing the work of Satan. You are evil. I am not making you evil by labelling you for what you are. You are making yourself evil because you would rather listen to that spirit who would have us fight with each other and murder each other and abuse each other all to mock God. That’s evil.
And that’s LDS theology in a nutshell. That’s why we tell people, “Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Don’t have sex before marriage. Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t experiment with pornography or homosexuality or anything unpure. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t be mean to each other. Don’t shop on Sunday.” We’re not saying that because we want to hurt you. No, we’re posting signs on the highway, “Hey, the road’s curvy here, slow down. Hey, there’s a drop-off on the shoulder, don’t pull over. Hey, there’s an accident up ahead, slow down.”
And then we tell you about Jesus and God and how much love they have for you and how all you have to do is simply give up. That’s right, give up. Admit you can’t beat the world. Admit you can’t keep all the commandments, the big ones or the little ones. Admit that you are lost in the woods and you nor anyone you know can see the way out. Admit that unless Jesus steps in and takes over and pilots your soul, you will be lost forever. That’s the message.
See, the law is our schoolmaster that brings us to Christ. Literally. When we take the law seriously, God’s law, we quickly realize how bad we are at that sort of thing. And thus as we try to obey the law we become more and more cognizant of our own impurity and imperfection. We seek a remedy, but the remedy isn’t in the law. You can’t go back in time and change what you did. The remedy is Christ.
I freely admit to anyone who asks that I am not righteous. I am not good. I am a very bad man because I don’t listen to God all the time and I do things I wish I didn’t. But I know who is righteous, and who does listen to God all the time, and I am doing my very best to do what he wants because he wants it not me. And I feel liberated at that. I feel happy. I want to shout it out from the rooftops, to tell the world, “Hey! Life sucks, but that’s okay because the gospel doesn’t!”
I went and served two years speaking Korean to people who could barely understand anything I said. (I was in South Korea, of course. Even then they couldn’t understand my accent.) I wanted nothing more than for people to find the same happiness I grew up with, the same community where we share and love and live together and cry together and build each other up out of sincere caring. I want the entire world to embrace Christ’s message of love and hope and peace and happiness because I know that there’s nothing, nothing, in this world that can make us happy. Everywhere is evil, everything is evil. The world’s going to hell, and you can’t change that, no one can. All we can do is get everything and everyone out of the world and into God’s kingdom, where we can live in peace and happiness.
Those of you who hear that Christians are full of hate are being blind to the true message of Christianity and confusing Christians with Christ. As a Christian, I freely admit that Christians kind of suck. They suck because everyone sucks. Sure, Christians might suck a little less, but you’ll find Christians doing dumb things just like other people do dumb things.
We don’t pray to other Christians, we don’t try to emulate other Christians, and we don’t pay too much attention to what other Christians say. Christians are focused on Christ and nothing else, or at least they should be. Because when we’re not, we’re no longer being Christian, are we? We’re being that “something else” that isn’t the way, the truth, the life, etc…
Christ wasn’t about bending the rules or making exceptions. He was about absolute obedience to that God who is only good, a perfect godly nature permeating everything we are and can be. And he didn’t lower the bar, he raised it. But he told us at the same time that if we simply followed him, he could make up the difference. He told us to be perfect, and that to achieve perfection, we needed him.
I can see why you hate that message. It’s not who you want us to be. You want us to be evil so you can justify your intense dislike for us and our message. You want to turn us into dragons so you can feel like St. George in slaying us. But you can try as hard as you want, you cannot change who we really are and who you really are. And that fact is that we really do love you and want you to simply submit to Christ. That’s it.