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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

177: HARMONIZING WITH THE WORLD

Unfortunately, we are gradually compromising with the world. Whether it is from the desire for a wider acceptance, or for keeping our tax-exempt status, or from responses to opinion-polling and focus testing.

We are led to believe that God has become more broad minded, and loving and that the Christian thing to do is to accept all. Many would think it is okay to now accept now gay marriage. This is completely false and in error. However, We are culturally being lined up for this possibility to happen, it will be a self-fulfillment. Potentially, the laws of the country will eventually require Churchs to perform gay marriage in their meetinghouses.

A letter signed by the First Presidency of the Church will be read in Sacrament Meetings which has been sent to all Latter-day Saint congregation leaders throughout the United States. The letter will include the reaffirmation of Church to support the Boy Scouts of America’s recent decision.

“As in the past, the Church will work with BSA to harmonize what Scouting has to offer with the varying needs of our young men. We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner. “ (emphasis mine)

The word ‘harmonize’ is a concern to me. The word means to bring or come into agreement, to blend or bring into accord with.

The Associated Press noted that many religious organizations are upset with the decision. Assembly of God, which had a strong partnership with the Boy Scouts over the years, said that it could no longer support the BSA, and would encourage churches dropping Scouting programs. Many Southern Baptist churches which have sponsored scouting programs would look for alternatives. “Frankly, I can't imagine a Southern Baptist pastor who would continue to allow his church to sponsor a Boy Scout troop under these new rules,” said Land. “I predict there will be a mass exodus of Southern Baptists and other conservative Christians from the Boy Scouts. Christian values must take priority over what is ‘politically correct.’ ”

On front page of MSN announcing the decision by the Boy Scouts, there was a photo of a Boy Scout holding a sign that read “Gay, Mormon, Eagle Scout for Equity”. Here is a screenshot of how it appeared online:

I wonder if we are taking tolerance and turning it into accepting abomination? I am not sure how far this will go before the Lord does something about this.

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31 comments:

  1. Once again other churches are better examples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and more 'Christian' than the LDS Church.

    With all the caving into the world's ways that the LDS Church has done, with this issue and many others in the past, I believe within 5 - 10 years the Church will come to allow Same Sex Marriage, just as soon as the majority of the members start asking for it, and we are almost there now.

    The Church used to call divorce and remarriage an abomination and adultery, now it accepts and allows it as not even a sin anymore.

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    1. You know, back in 2008 my ex-communicate openly gay boss told me that sooner or later the church would approve of same-sex marriage. I told him he was crazy. With each passing day it seems his prophecy is more imaginable.

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    2. @Rob -

      I've said the same thing - that the day is coming that the LDS Church will allow and recognize gay marriages. I've had friends and family scoff at that suggestion, but I believe it will happen. Five to ten years sounds reasonable, actually.

      I can also say, that when that happens, I will place my resignation letter in the mail that day and I will not look back.

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  2. Brother,
    You have touched on a real "third rail" issue.
    While I knew some months ago the church would go this route, it was still a shock when I actually read the church statement. My conclusion is that our "leaders" must have an agenda here that most are not perceiving. When I ponder this matter (gay boy scouts) I feel prompted to examine WHY would church "leaders" agree to such an obviously flawed policy? The only conclusion I have come to is that this serves to get "the camel's nose under the tent". It will allow church "leadership" to claim innocence when, at some time in the very near future, the courts mandate that the church allow homosexual marriages, including homosexual marriages in the Temples. Now a precedent has been set for the church to recognize homosexual "rights". How will the church now be able to resist when some liberal judge forces the church to go to the next logical step and allow homosexual marriage? Now "the brethren" will be able to claim innocence from any culpability when they are "forced" by the law of the land to recognize homosexual "rights" to marry in the church.
    I hope I am wrong.
    JR

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    1. Good point JR. For all those who doubt that federal law could force a change to "root" doctrine, please review the history of the cessation of plural marriage.

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    2. Yes, the through the years the Church seems to have often changed it's views and doctrines when there is enough outside or inside pressure to do so.

      It seems that survival as a Church and keeping members is more important to Church leaders, than upholding Christ's teachings and doctrines.

      And of course, history has shown that most members will go along with anything, no matter how evil and contrary to Christ and the scriptures it is, for blind obedience and playing 'follow the leader' is so much easier than having to actually discern and stand for truth on your own.

      If LDS leaders will allow whoredoms like polygamy, abandonment of family, divorce and remarriage, then something like SSM will be nothing to them to accept, for it is alot less of a sin than the other things they have already gone along with.

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  3. One more thought...
    When this new church policy is read to the church I will get up and walk out of the meeting in protest.
    Homosexuality is an abomination. How can any thinking person consider two men or two women having sexual contact in any other way?
    Homosexuality may well be "The Abomination of Desolation" spoken of by Daniel and others.
    Abominable: Something motivated out of a false form of religious observance or justified by religious error
    Abomination: Religious justification of wrong doing
    Desolation: devastation, ruin, depopulation, dreariness, barrenness.
    JR

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  4. If a young man is struggling with same sex thoughts, but does not act on them, I think he should be allowed in Scouts. If he does act on them, or identifies as gay, I think he should not be allowed in Scouts.

    How does this compare to the Scout policy change?

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    1. Unfortunately the BSA does not use terms the same way as the church does. Struggling with a temptation is not a sin. Acting on it is. The problem with all of this is that society (and the church) have a history replete with changing the definition of words over time. When decisions cease to be made upon principle, they are fungible.

      If a man is struggling with same sex thoughts, why should anyone know about it? Why should it be an issue? It is only when acted upon that a new policy would be necessary in the first place.

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    2. Yet Christ and the scriptures teach that we can lose our salvation and the Spirit by impure unrighteous thoughts. The Church seems to want to ignore that fact these days.

      Just because the Church doesn't want to call such thoughts 'sin' anymore, doesn't mean they aren't.

      For the scriptures are clear that impure thoughts are sin, for sin is anything that causes the Spirit to depart and causes us to lose our salvation.

      Church leaders must be saying to themselves the same thing that Hitler did, 'It's a good thing that the people don't think'.

      Actually, isn't that what the church leaders want us to believe, that the thinking has been done for us? How nice, all is well.

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    3. @ Steve and Rob

      My thought process was similar to yours Steve until I read Rob's reply which hit the nail directly on the head!

      "If a man is struggling with same sex thoughts, why should anyone know about it? Why should it be an issue? It is only when acted upon that a new policy would be necessary in the first place."

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    4. Anon May 29, 11:12 AM:
      1st, if you are going to publically disagree with something, you ought to at least have the courage to put a name next to your comment, especially if you are taking a stand for what you believe to be true. Mark 8:38: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

      2) Being tempted does not equate to "impure unrighteous thoughts." If you believe it does, that you have condemned Christ, who was perfect despite the fact that he was tempted in all things. Please read and consider the following verses: Heb 4:15-16, Heb 2:18, 1 Cor 10:13, James 4:7

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    5. Rob,

      Being tempted does not necessarily mean someone has impure thoughts. Fleeting temptation is not the same as dwelling on something or having desires to do what is wrong. I don't believe Christ had feelings, thoughts or desires for other women other than his wife.

      For it was Christ who taught that if a married man has thoughts and desires for another woman other than his wife then he has lost the Spirit and sinned, actually committed adultery and will lose his salvation if he doesn't repent.

      The scriptures also warn us that if we don't watch our thoughts, we will perish. For those who have never been married, thoughts and desires for the opposite sex are normal, natural and right, and don't cause us to lose the Spirit, as long as our actions stay within certain bounds, those normal feelings are what encourage people to marry. But if we are married or have thoughts and feeling for the same sex, then those are not righteous thoughts and will cause one to lose the Spirit, etc.

      The Church should not be giving the impression that having impure thoughts and desires is ok, as long as you don't act upon them, for that is not true, the person will lose the Spirit and possibly their salvation if they don't repent and change their thoughts.

      It's like with porn, we know that men lose the spirit and commit adultery by looking at porn, and it destroys his wife also, yet they never were with another woman, let along touched her. Thus we see the effects mere thoughts and feelings can have on a person and their loved ones.

      Yet the Church is soft on porn also, just like they are soft on abuse, abandonment, adultery, and so many other evils, because it is not a true church, it is led by false prophets who support and do evil.

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    6. Good points, I agree. I don't think the handbook guidance is soft on abuse or porn. I agree with (if this is the same anon) your position on divorce and how the scriptures say that is adultery as is remarriage, and in that case the church's position is not in alignment with the scriptures.

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  5. I don't care what the BSA does or any other world organization does and by that, I mean, under the law an organization can do what it wants. I'm bothered by why we do all that we can to be part of all of this. We, the institution, want to be excepted by the Boy Scouts, the government, the military. We call ourselves patriotic for doing so, as if that is what the Lord would expect from us.

    JR thinks homosexuality may be the abomination of desolation. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I don't know but that's one of the problems with all of this. We don't know.

    Wouldn't it be great if we did it like Joseph Smith. He had a question on baptism, went in the woods and received a revelation. he had a question on the resurrection, went to the lord and received a revelation.

    Wouldn't it be so cool if the President could go to the Lord and ask for an answer on the homosexual debate or any other issue and receive a revelation from the mouth of God. Then he would come to the members and say, "The voice of the Lord has been revealed to me and He, the Lord, has declared that homosexuality is....." Wow, if only. I guess until then we will just keep trying to harmonize with the world.

    What's even sadder is the Lord has revealed how he feels about some issues like how we are to deal with our enemies and we do the opposite just so we can claim our patriotism. It's sad.

    Where are we in terms of being fully ripe? Some days I think we are there and have been for some time and other days I think we have a little way to go.

    Great post as usual.

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    1. JLC and everyone else,

      JLC makes a fantastic point here...

      "Wouldn't it be so cool if the President could go to the Lord and ask for an answer on the homosexual debate or any other issue and receive a revelation from the mouth of God. Then he would come to the members and say, "The voice of the Lord has been revealed to me and He, the Lord, has declared that homosexuality is....." Wow, if only. I guess until then we will just keep trying to harmonize with the world."

      I think this is essentially the core of what is wrong with the church today. Beyond this, people will want to say things like, "The President doesn't receive revelation because we the church members are too wicked" or some other type of tripe.

      I would be in support of...

      1. Enough people pulling out of support from the scouts to render the BSA essentially nill thus sending them a message that the line and standard should never have been crossed, and sending the Church a message that the members are simply not going to take these "commitee decisions" anymore.

      2. Start calling upon the "Prophet's, Seer's, and Revelator's" of this church to actually do such things. If they are unable, then perhaps they are to be removed from thier place and another appointed that has and is able to use such Godly gifts. That is what the "sustaining vote" is for.

      I'm not angry, and hope this doesn't come across that way. Mostly weary of curtailing to Babylon.

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  6. I wonder, if the "sin" of homosexuality, along with many other sins and moral issues of our current corrupt society, may actually stem from, and really be side effects of, our enthusiasm for war, killing for profit (cheap oil), and revenge against terrorism.

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  7. Apparently the Lord still is watching over me. I am in the Bishopric of our ward, and I conducted this last month. I do not have to conduct till August now. IF I would have had to read that I would have struggled greatly, and likely as I have done before add my own comments. In our meetings (PEC and Ward Council) I have spoken at times regarding this policy, stating personally it would likely mean the end of my son participating. Not much has been said as most think it will not affect the local branches. The argument is that the local branches do not have to accept this policy. I am waiting to see how this plays out.
    I will continue to pray, as I know where the Lord stands, and pray I can have as much time as necessary to have positive affect on the Ward. I guess most of all I am in a refiner’s fire where I can take a stand in the belly of the beast (the ward and local area) and speak truth as long as I am allowed too.

    B

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    1. Well, It appears my time may be coming sooner. I am supposed to read this Sunday, as I am covering for the Bishop being out of town. I am now praying to see what I should do. Please include me in your Prayers...
      B

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  8. Three points with this.

    1. Harmonize... hmm... an awful lot like another word. MINGLE
    2. Why are we letting BSA take the lead? Are we too lazy to start our own scouting program?
    3. "As in the past"... So we are saying that the virtue of our previous choices will cover the stain of our present choice? Nothing new here... move along little sheep... nothing to see... ALL IS WELL, all is well.

    I will be pulling my boys from scouts. If they read this letter in F&T meeting, it will be tempting to do it publicly to draw a line in the sand to say I will not pass!

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    1. I have thought about this, too Gary. Why is the church so intent on sticking with BSA? Apparently I'm not the first to have asked this. Even before this I had two issues with the church/BSA: 1) If the purpose of the BS (ha---good abbreviation) program in the church is to prepare young men for the priesthood, can we really say that the best preparation would come from a program that is secular/non-LDS? 2) Given question 1, how can the huge expense of BSA membership fees / friends of scouting / uniform and accouterments be justified? Particularly given that this money comes from tithing.

      If everything of worth with scouts comes from local members, what is the need of involving a 3rd party to give us marching orders?

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  9. Great post. This has been on my mind a lot over the last week. It seems clear to me that what JR suggested is the most likely outcome of this series of events. This change could not have been agreed to by LDS church leaders without understanding the implications. (as already implied by the clandestine discussions the church has had with the homosexual lobby in SLC, as candidly described in the Jim Dubakis interview on Mormon Stories) The implications of this change in the BSA has been openly voiced in and discussed by the larger scouting world.

    If and when the church adopts such a practice (likely when "forced" by the federal government), I doubt the Lord will refrain from acting in the day that such an abomination takes place in the holy of holies. I believe it could happen much sooner than 5-10 years out, perhaps 1-2 or less. Witness the large swing of opinion in Utah following passage of the SLC ordinance supporting homosexual rights that the church actively supported. The federal Supreme Court decisions this month and next could catalyze a rapid national shift. (and "we support the law of the land!")

    On a side note, however, having served as a "scoutmaster" for five years, I have been done with scouting on the whole for some time already. The traditions of our fathers leave us so deep in it that we are blind to what we are really doing. We lose sight of what this program focuses on: worldly, outward recognition, the seeking of applause & accolades, visible accomplishment & "betterment" relative to others, "rank advancement" that allows us to judge some boys more worthy of college & "leadership callings" than others, military-inspired & -based uniforms, and focus on superficial "growth through checklists". It is, in many ways, the antithesis of what a bearer of the Aaronic priesthood should be focusing on, that is exercising faith, repenting in humility, and coming unto Christ as our Lord. The only thing I have looked forward to in scouting is the excuse it gives us to leave our artificial Babylonian environment and spend time in a tent in the midst of God's creations, where the gospel of Jesus Christ can be discussed in a setting that itself already eloquently testifies of his majesty and the beauty of his great plan. I'm not sure we require the BSA or scouting program to do this, however. They certainly managed to do okay anciently without them.

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    1. Thank you! Well said.. (as well as all of the other comments that are posted)
      David

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  10. As I was reading through the 21 prior posts I was thinking, "No one has mentioned how the Boy Scouts promote the exact opposite of what the Savior taught...to do your good works anonymously and let God get the credit and save your reward for the afterlife." Then lo and behold, Vaughn expresses my very thoughts in a much more eloquent manner. Well, said! My Eagle Scout brother with 11 children is the one that first opened my eyes to that blatant contradiction.

    Everyone has made excellent points. Having 4 brothers and too many nephews to count that are Eagle Scouts...and being raised thinking being an Eagle was akin to living the gospel, and almost second thinking marrying my husband because he didn't make it to Eagle (haha...that is supposed to be humorous, but I did wonder about it)...I am throwing in the towel on the Scouts! I have been frustrated with them for several reasons already, but I always said if they caved in ANY manner from their prior standards and scout law to accommodate this new political agenda being shoved down everyone's throat, then I would be out of there with any kind of support...Church or no Church. I already knew several months ago that the Church would cave on this one. You start to see a pattern when you really follow history and it was a no brainer that they would be "supportive" of this new approach/compromise.

    I have NEVER turned down a calling. If my husband or I (as a Den Mother potential) ever get asked to serve, it will be my first "NO!" RESOUNDINGLY. With no hesitation. Our son will not participate and I will be vocal in letting extended family know my position. I won't stand up in testimony meeting this Sunday after the letter is read to voice my disapproval, as one commenter wished he could do...although the temptation will be great...but I may come late next week so my blood doesn't start boiling as the letter is read.

    As another commenter pointed out....the Church's formal advocacy of the Salt Lake City ordinance was the first sign I had that something isn't right at headquarters on this issue. (Actually the FIRST hint was when they started going out of their way in the Ensign to say a man that remained single because of this struggle with same sex attraction, would get ALL the blessings of exaltation as long as he never acted on it...in direct contradiction to scripture that states a man MUST marry a woman to have exaltation). That was an aside...back to the Salt Lake ordinance issue...If you are a believer in Constitutional law and protections...you know the Church advocated violating all of our individual rights to control our own property/businesses and simultaneously asked that they (the Church) be EXEMPTED from complying with the very law they were forcing upon the individual citizens. There is a word that describes those that ask others to do something they are not willing to do. HYPOCRCISY!!! There is no way around that one.

    The arguments as to why this is a wrong move by the Church have been laid out by others above and by so many other sources on blogs, radio shows, etc. it is too much to state in one short comment, but I will just end by saying, " I'M DONE!"

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    1. Wow, well stated Karen. Great comment!

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    2. The Church's actions with the SLC ordinance sickened me, too. And much of what I learned about our sacred rights came from the words of former Church leaders. So sad.

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    3. Karen,

      Not to mention, in regards to that Ensign article, we must have pure thoughts and minds in this life in order to be worthy of Exaltation. Inappropriate and unclean thoughts can cause the Spirit to leave and we will lose our salvation, as Christ taught, thus the Church is leading people astray, causing them to think that we can't commit sin just by our 'thoughts'.

      Yet this issue is nothing compared with so many other far worse things the Church has supported and taught through the years, after Brigham took over. I would suggest further study into many other issues where Church leaders led and are leading the Church astray, for this is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Things like polygamy, divorce and remarriage, abandonment of family, etc. These are things the Church supports and allows or promises in the next life. Serial polygamy is an ongoing practice in the Church today, leading men to collect wives for eternity, one by one, after he abandons and divorces the last and remarries yet another, over and over, which Christ said is clearly adultery. I know a man who recently married in the temple for the 12th time, after numerous divorces.

      Also, did you know that Joseph Smith never preached or practiced polygamy? He fought against it his whole life, excommunicating anyone who lived it, even leaders, and warned anyone who fell for it, or fell for even a prophet who came preaching it, that they both would be damned. You won't learn that in Sunday School.

      Oh the things we learn when we are willing to do our own homework and 'prove all things'.

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  11. I thought maybe the Church would develop their own young men's program, and actually take a stand against the compromising position of the BSA....

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  12. Do you have a link to the entire First Presidency statement to be read by local leaders in Church meetings?

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    1. Not the letter itself, but here is the official press release, which apparently includes part or most of what will be sent:
      http://www.lds.org/church/news/church-responds-to-boy-scouts-policy-vote?lang=eng

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