Best Church Denominations for Red Pill Men

Dr. Howard

Peacock
Gold Member
Dr. Howard said:
Nacho said:
Lol good luck with that. The LDS Catholic church is built on a shaky foundation. The current 'prophet' and President Pope of the LDS Catholic Church could come out tommorow and declare there's been a new revelation from God and women can now attain the priesthood.

I think there's a high likely hood something along these lines could happen in the next twenty years. If the 'prophet' Pope declares it, it's pretty much set in stone. They have a history of doing this. I think they are not that much more immune to the whims of the cultural rot infesting many sectors of Protestantism Mainline Catholicism .

^ Fixed your spelling for you.

Not having a single 'God ordained' figurehead of the church and instead having the power to change the leader vested in the body is a large reason why I'm part of a Baptist Church

^ I regret this post above as I was trying to stay out of criticizing other denominations when there is so much willful opposition to God from non believers already.

It does really get under my skin though, in this thread and I see it in other threads where there are Orthodox or Catholic forum members who have been somehow burned in the past by being part of a Protestant denomination. They cannot pass over the chance to step on Protestants while they make whatever their moral point is. I have done it also but I'm not a judge of what is the most holy denomination. I'm going to avoid doing it further and not sow more division among the body of believers.
 

Dr. Howard

Peacock
Gold Member
Rotten said:
Just go to your local churches and look at these things:

(1) are there female ministers? (Jesus said women can minister to women but not to men, so a church with female ministers is unchristian)

(2) Other than the Boomer and older couples and widows, what is the ratio of women to men? Of single women to single men? (A lopsided ratio is a clue that the church may be pandering to women, who are more likely to give money but demand feminism)

(3) How are the women in the church dressed and made up? (Jesus said that women need to cover their hair when they worship, which should mean that women’s hair should be at least up in a bun or something — but the legal contours of what cover means aren’t important. the moral idea is that women should not be sluttily made up when worshipping god)

all good points, to add one more

(4) Do they preach about hell, or Satan? There are Churches that take the stance that the Devil isn't real, but is more just a struggle against our own Sin, or that there is no hell, just more of like a separation of god/nothingness.

One of the ways to pay attention to this is if you are attending a bible study that is working one book of the bible at a time, pay attention to and go back and read on your own bible verses or chapters that they will skip from week to week. They are usually the more contentious ones.
 
Fornication is sex outside of marriage. Incest is a separate sin and an abomination.

It’s disingenuous to use 1 Cor 5:1 as the definition of all fornication. Paul is not saying fornication is only if you have intercourse with your fathers wife. “and such” is a conjunction; Paul is being lenient here by not categorizing this type of fornication as incest but as a grievous form of fornication.


There is leniency. God will “wink” at a sin if you do it in ignorance. We don’t have the mitigating factors here but to call all fornication as having sex with your fathers wife is simply wrong. Besides then what is the name of the sin at Deut 22:20-21? The sin with no name I guess.

People redefine sin because they are unwilling to face their own sin from conviction. So they use worldly intellect to rationalize it.

Deuteronomy 22:20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

Deuteronomy 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

1 Corinthians 5:1 - It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
 

infowarrior1

Hummingbird
Nacho said:
Former President of the LDS church Lorenzo Snow stated, "As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” So mormons believe that God at one point was just a mere mortal man just as we are now.

Mormons are experts at hiding their history. They do everything to twist and mislead people in what their church has always taught doctrinally. Just beware when conversing with one because they more than likely may not be totally forthcoming.

Quite different from the self existent one that is the true christian god(Exodus 3:14):
"I AM HE WHO IS This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’

For the same reason the burning bush does not consume the bush for God is akin to a fire that is his own fuel.

Existing by virtue of his very being. For in the beginning he is everything who fills all the nothingness of the void.


Isaiah 43:10

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I go to a small church that was a plant of a larger church. They occasionally give lip-service to "racial justice" but it has no impact on much of anything else. They're strong on traditional Christian causes (like a local pro-life women's clinic), have missionaries, and no debt (side note, this is a big deal. Beware if your church is going into debt to build themselves a new shopping mall sized complex.) It's been good so far. I and my family have some clout in this church, so if they ever try to cuck we will fight back instead of taking the easy way out and just leaving.

I really admire the Mormon socio-familial structure and wish that other Christian denominations did such a good job of creating large families (and evangelizing.) However, much of what they believe is fabulist nonsense created by a man with less than zero understanding of historical context and basically everything one would need to learn in order to understand and teach scripture. This is one denomination I'd love to see reformed into orthodox Christian belief. Either way, they're undoubtedly an ally against the forces of degeneracy.
 

Tex

Kingfisher
Gold Member
infowarrior1 said:
Quite different from the self existent one that is the true christian god(Exodus 3:14) [...]

Contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Bible would not actually be problematic if you took it for truth that Joseph Smith--even the sinner and conman many see Joseph Smith as--was given the Book of Mormon through divine revelation as a new book to it.

In this way, the old details may validly be changed as man's conceptions and capacities increase with the date of death drawing nearer and bringing us closer in time to the revelation of what all this really, truly is.

If you do not agree, then think on all the contradictions between the Bible and itself, namely between the Old and New Testaments. Like:

Deuteronomy 19:21 said:
“Show no pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

Not to mention the LDS claims and the Bible might not be contradictions after all. We see things through Newtonian conceptions of space and time. But that is not reality.

Maybe the self-existent properties are true of God in this universe, which is what the Old Testament may just be trying to say, but these do not necessarily cary over to the universe that predated this universe.

Especially if God's mortal life was in a universe before time, and then God created time once he transcended, thus becoming the alpha and the omega and the beginning of all.

Who are we to say.

Overall, glad to see a lot of rational deconstructing of the "this church is the true church because of lineage" argument.

Claims like those sound like they come from guys trying to play politics with religion. Turning religion into team sports.

Religion is not team sports. Evaluating different religions against each other should be approached with a little more sophistication than just a historical debate on who can trace what church back to being given authority from someone who was given authority from someone who was God, or whether God actually appeared to so and so to restore that previous lineage, etc.

I recognize that may be important to some, but it just tends to degenerate into fruitless debate that won't get any of us any closer to what is true for us.

Valid things in that exercise are discussions of, say, subjective spiritual feelings toward doctrine and the fruits of the religion's presence on earth. I'd also like to see different adherents of different denominations explain how their path to God actually feels.

What if the genuine followers of different denominations feel different things? What if their experiences in qualitatively different in some way? And what if some denominations seem to awaken more of a spiritual fire than others?

Those are the real questions. No one wants to be stuck pretending they genuinely believe or feel their new religion.

Especially because they're guilt-tripped into it by some idea of sin or being cornered into following some moral life so our later life can be fulfilling.

That's how you end up going through the motions of church for a decade and being stuck boring yourself to death every Sunday because you believe that at some point you'll finally trick yourself into believing in God.

Or even worse, because you crave that sense of accomplishment of Sunday church just to say you have the discipline to do something you don't want to do.

Plenty of people go that route and find the ground just as sterile as it is outside of the church. Or even worse, the place is filled with hypocrites that are even worse deviants than those "in the world."

All such paths lead to utter disappointment--paths that I suspect a lot of guys on this forum will take because they now feel like they have to be priestly to flex on other members. Or because some of the "demon worshiper" rhetoric I've seen thrown around scares them into joining whatever "sanctioned" church happens to be near them.

I'm not referring to any of the posters on this thread because they're all above that kind of thing, but it's wise to note in these religious discussions that this forum, as any social group, always has that XX% of people who exaggerate their beliefs and actions to show off.

Back when this forum was all about getting casual sex, we had guys like G Manifesto and Christian McQueen--both (well, probably, but at least the one for sure) cardboard cut-outs of what they pretended to be. Then when it was about holistic lifestyle and living adventurously, we had NASA Test Pilot and many, many others.

Those are extreme examples; plenty of less extreme cases still post on this forum and have lots of reps. Let's keep in mind that that kind of thing happens, because that is going to put some of the actually malicious denomination-bashing sure to come in perspective.

That brings me to why this LDS attack seemed a bit unproductive. It looks like it is indicative of a growing trend here to jump to gigantic conclusions and blindly rally for an Orthodox approach while calling anyone else satanic, wrong prima facie, etc.; especially from guys that I've seen pop up in other threads who I seriously doubt have any personal testimony at all.

That is not meant to say that I thought it was unproductive when the LDS church's ugly past was brought up. People who want to look into that church need to know upfront what is said about it and what Joseph Smith was like from a non-LDS perspective.

But the argument that it is less Godly because it doesn't carry a historical lineage of some kind doesn't help much, doesn't "debunk the religion's validity, and it just becomes church-bashing at some point.

This thread seems like the place to ask extremely creative and uncomfortable questions about doctrine and religious lifestyle that go well beyond the classic "Is this denomination going to avoid trying to convert me into becoming a pansy little bitch?" (Though it's hard to say that's not relevant either.) These questions go into deep territory that most might not even think to ask.

Questions like these are more pressing.
 

infowarrior1

Hummingbird
Tex said:
infowarrior1 said:
Quite different from the self existent one that is the true christian god(Exodus 3:14) [...]

Contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Bible would not actually be problematic if you took it for truth that Joseph Smith--even the sinner and conman many see Joseph Smith as--was given the Book of Mormon through divine revelation as a new book to it.

In this way, the old details may validly be changed as man's conceptions and capacities increase with the date of death drawing nearer and bringing us closer in time to the revelation of what all this really, truly is.

If you do not agree, then think on all the contradictions between the Bible and itself, namely between the Old and New Testaments. Like:

Deuteronomy 19:21 said:
“Show no pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”


Maybe the self-existent properties are true of God in this universe, which is what the Old Testament may just be trying to say, but these do not necessarily cary over to the universe that predated this universe.

Especially if God's mortal life was in a universe before time, and then God created time once he transcended, thus becoming the alpha and the omega and the beginning of all.


Who are we to say.


Claims like those sound like they come from guys trying to play politics with religion. Turning religion into team sports.

I recognize that may be important to some, but it just tends to degenerate into fruitless debate that won't get any of us any closer to what is true for us.

Valid things in that exercise are discussions of, say, subjective spiritual feelings toward doctrine and the fruits of the religion's presence on earth. I'd also like to see different adherents of different denominations explain how their path to God actually feels.

What if the genuine followers of different denominations feel different things? What if their experiences in qualitatively different in some way? And what if some denominations seem to awaken more of a spiritual fire than others?

Those are the real questions. No one wants to be stuck pretending they genuinely believe or feel their new religion.

Questions like these are more pressing.


Eye for an eye is the principle of the civil magistrate to be applied at all times in history. Whilst turning the other cheek is about the personal relations outside of the judicial system. This also is consistent with the New Testament admonition not to avenge one self but to leave vengeance to God(Romans 12:19).


There actually is no contradiction in regards to the turning the other cheek which is more about insult by being treated as an inferior because its the right cheek via backhand slap. Turning the other cheek is in hebrew culture this:

Taken in their social context, these commands require no such things. "Resist not evil" is a well-known Jewish proverb (Ps. 37:1, 8; Prov. 24:19)and actually means, do not compete with evildoers by trying to outdo them in terms of getting back at them. Three examples for the teaching follow: Turn the other cheek; if someone sues you for your cloak, also give them your tunic; if you are forced to go one mile, go two. All three of these things refer to what amount to inconvenient, but nevertheless perfectly legal, impositions on the person. The "slap on the cheek" is a type of personal insult, so that the command to turn the other cheek is essentially a command not to start trading insults, but take the higher ground and turn away from the exchange.

It is not, as many Skeptics have supposed, a license to allow yourself to get beat up. The cloak/tunic bit must be recognized in terms of the ancient Jewish customary process of making good pledge on one's debts by handing over a valuable item as collateral; for most people in this time, items of clothing were the only thing suitable. In essence, the teaching is to provide surety of repayment of a justly-decided debt, even to those who are enemies.

http://tektonics.org/qt/smithg01.php



In Romans 13. The ruling power is tasked as his angel with carrying out God's vengeance on the wicked by putting them to death and other punishments.



But as in regards to if God was once mortal.

He lived in time in a previous universe. And as a mortal man was existent by virtue of that which is other than himself.

Therefore he isn't self-existent in the 1st place. For his divinity was granted to him. Therefore his existence is from other than himself.

Its a self-contradiction that any creature can ascend to Deity and still be self-existent. For his existence as a deity has already depended on something other than himself. God cannot be God but by God himself and must have always been God.

No mortal can of itself ascend to Godhood by himself.

God would also be a liar since he himself testified. That there was no God before him nor will there be another after him.
 

Tex

Kingfisher
Gold Member
You're saying the eye for an eye commandment is just a codification of civil law and not a Biblical command of how to conduct one's life? Where exactly in the Bible do you find the authority to definitively say that these suggestions are not natural laws that a legal system should follow, not because they're legally good ideas, but because they are the natural law of God?

Even if that is what you're saying, Jesus seems to be advocating a change of even civil law by claiming, in reference of what looks like an obvious contradiction to "an eye for an eye," that the "eye for an eye" law should be tempered and thus changed. No one is saying that that means you should let one walk all over you, but it does mean that "eye for an eye" is no longer the path at all.

But I'll even give you the passages I quoted as consistent just to move the point along because unless you can make every inconsistency between the Old Testament and New Testament completely corrected, then the point stands. Another example is the Old Testament commanding adulterers to be put to death as Jesus preventing that exact sentence from being carried out.

On the God point, if God creates this universe, and creates time, but was once a man in a different reality, who are you to say that the Old Testament saying God is self-existent doesn't mean that? Who are you or I to shuffle words around and make a semantical claim about what self-existent means? How do you really know your idea of self-existent is so concrete?

infowarrior1 said:
God is either self-existent or not. In every universe or else he isn't.

If God created himself spontaneously once he became God, then by definition "God" did not exist until he created himself, so he's still self-existent, even in every multiverse. You say that his being as a man means he existed before in some way so he necessarily must not be self-existent, but then who are you to say that God was not literally a man who then became God and retroactively created the universe he was birthed into, becoming self-existent and a separate thing entirely from the man he once was but still making us in our image?

infowarrior1 said:
Its a self-contradiction that any creature can ascend to Deity and still be self-existent. For his existence as a deity has already depended on something other than himself.

Not necessarily at all. A creature ascending to deity can theoretically happen with the same spontaneity that plenty of people living today feel the sensation of being with divinity--by suddenly realizing it. There's many words for it. It's not a concept of Newtonian physics, but it's just Western imagination to read the Bible with those assumptions anyway.

The idea that one can create one's self with energy that did not exist until that being suddenly made the decision to become divine is something beyond our reasoning, and yet the Bible deals with exactly that realm.

My point is this is absolutely not a conclusion that is determinable by reason, by definition. There are answers, but no answers you can rationally pin down. In order to get that satisfactory feeling that you've "figured it all out" beyond a shadow of doubt, you'd have to at some point resort to relying on the idea that any interpretation but yours is heresy and that's that.

This is one of those things that you hit a brick wall when you really discuss it and you really have to just look to faith.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
If you do not agree, then think on all the contradictions between the Bible and itself, namely between the Old and New Testaments.

The eye-for-an-eye example is not a "contradiction", it's an instance of Jesus raising the moral bar higher than in the Old Testament. This makes me think you haven't read Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 very carefully at all, because it's basically what he's doing throughout all of that teaching. "You have heard it said... But I say to you..." And in the instance of divorce, he reveals the reason why: God never desired divorce, or retaliation, or adultery, but permitted a less stringent moral code because of "hardness of heart" and the Hebrew audience not being ready for this higher standard yet.

infowarrior1's link from Tektonics is absolutely correct about the context surrounding "an eye for an eye."

Not to mention the LDS claims and the Bible might not be contradictions after all. We see things through Newtonian conceptions of space and time. But that is not reality.

Maybe the self-existent properties are true of God in this universe, which is what the Old Testament may just be trying to say, but these do not necessarily cary over to the universe that predated this universe.

Especially if God's mortal life was in a universe before time, and then God created time once he transcended, thus becoming the alpha and the omega and the beginning of all.

I don't believe there was a "universe that predated this universe" or that God ever had a "mortal life." The orthodox Christian conception of God is a spirit who existed in a timeless state before He created the universe. Opinions vary upon whether he took on a temporal nature upon creation of time-space (as William Lane Craig would advocate) or continues to be timeless by existing outside of time.

it's just Western imagination to read the Bible with those assumptions anyway.

Yeah, and I'd argue that's exactly why we shouldn't trust a thing Joseph Smith thinks about the Bible. The Mormon conception of God is closer to Scientology than Christian orthodoxy.

The idea that one can create one's self with energy that did not exist until that being suddenly made the decision to become divine is something beyond our reasoning, and yet the Bible deals with exactly that realm.

This is a tremendous misunderstanding and misinterpretation of who/what the Church claims God to be, and how Christians have historically understand God. I suggest getting familiar with classical philosophical arguments for God's existence - the cosmological argument, ontological argument, and so on.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Gold Member
Tex, you're asking the very same questions I did when I started my spiritual journey.

Another more intelligent poster said this on this forum, but the inconsistencies of the bible really stem from the fact that the authors in a way are paying Elaborate lip service to the vengeful old testament God while doubly praising his glory.

In fact, you can see this with Abraham when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Isaac for him. I don't have the scripture in front of me, but if God was omnipotent and omniscient why was Abraham trying to negotiate with him on the sacrifice of his son? Because even Abraham knew that God can be negotiated with .

The Bible is even more transcendent when you look at it as God's own spiritual journey going from being vengeful and jealous to loving and forgiving. He's still someone to be feared and respected, but he also gave us his only son for his chosen people to hear those lessons of love as well as give grace to the millions of gentiles.

As for turning the other cheek. Don't let this passage assume it means rolling over. Have you ever wondered why Eastern cultures concept of face seems silly? You can thank Jesus for that .

If you look at it within the context of semetic and middle eastern honor/face, Jesus was elaborately saying to bring the other party to your degraded level by having him slap you with his right hand (turning the cheek).

It's why in Western culture honor isn't seen as a big deal. I can call you a soyboy beta cuck and you'll just laugh and walk away.

In closing, the law that Jesus left us with (Golden rule) to love others as we love ourselves and to love God as he loves us doesn't preclude you from using violence to protect yourself.

If I love myself and hold me to high standards, if someone attacks me physically, I am within my rights to strike back to protect that which I love up to and including death. It's akin to not starting a fight but ending it.

I hope this helps.
 

infowarrior1

Hummingbird
Tex said:
You're saying the eye for an eye commandment is just a codification of civil law and not a Biblical command of how to conduct one's life? Where exactly in the Bible do you find the authority to definitively say that these suggestions are not natural laws that a legal system should follow, not because they're legally good ideas, but because they are the natural law of God?
Even if that is what you're saying, Jesus seems to be advocating a change of even civil law by claiming, in reference of what looks like an obvious contradiction to "an eye for an eye," that the "eye for an eye" law should be tempered and thus changed. No one is saying that that means you should let one walk all over you, but it does mean that "eye for an eye" is no longer the path at all.
I cited the Tektonics article that shows that he is accurately applying the Law in "resist not evil"

Proverbs 24:29
Do not say, "I'll do to them as they have done to me; I'll pay them back for what they did."

Proverbs 20:22
Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.


And countering the fact that at the time eye for an eye is being applied beyond the Judicial system.

All cases of "eye for an eye" cited in the Torah is in the context of a Judicial decision including capital punishment(Romans 13). Which would still apply in regards to governments in all ages. God's wrath is to be carried out by the state the ruling power not the individual.
 

Helaman

Pigeon
It is wise to allow for flexibility and development of one's beliefs as we gain more knowledge. If you've already made up your mind about other churches, then great, continue on the narrow path you've chosen. But there is value to exploring the unknown and allowing for an increase of knowledge from a variety of sources if you find truth. Making quick assumptions based on what you saw on a South Park episode or a Lorenzo Snow quote taken out of context is just ridiculous. I'm telling you, LDS believe God is God from eternity to all eternity. If a false rumor is enough to keep people away, then I don't think they are really serious about searching for truth. They remain in the confined box that they started out in. We should not be afraid to change our views, beliefs, and practices as we receive further light, and we should not let the biases and rumors of others prevent us from investigating.
 

Tex

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Let me just point out that I mentioned the turn the other cheek passage more to illustrate that it at least superficially contradicts the eye for an eye passage, even if they might not contradict in application.

The Beast1 said:
Another more intelligent poster said this on this forum, but the inconsistencies of the bible really stem from the fact that the authors in a way are paying Elaborate lip service to the vengeful old testament God while doubly praising his glory.

In fact, you can see this with Abraham when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Isaac for him. I don't have the scripture in front of me, but if God was omnipotent and omniscient why was Abraham trying to negotiate with him on the sacrifice of his son? Because even Abraham knew that God can be negotiated with.

That's interesting. It almost makes me consider the idea that God, being so impossibly transcendental and beyond our comprehension, might be playing the character of whatever authority figure a people's culture may be used to. So in the times of the Old Testament, maybe these ancient cultures would feel more comfortable with a stern and strict God. While in the times of the Roman Empire and the New Testament, people may have softened and needed a God that was warmer to them.

Another thing I think about is whether or not time is a meaningless concept to God's works. If that's the case then people's individual interactions with God in the Bible would really be slivers of God's multifaceted nature that neither make up his entire personality nor his entire attitude towards us.

These slivers are just digestible pieces of God's nature that we almost pick and choose for ourselves, as the words God speaks and the actions he makes could be above time. Therefore, everything he does he already did and yet hasn't done; prophets have the ability to reach into this pool of possibility and retrieve what meaning they need. In that sense God's will would be something that God provides us and yet also requires participation for us to extract human meaning out of it.

Not sure if any of that is true but it's fun to think about.

One thing I am curious about is how and to what extent different denominations consider the "ego." That's something mostly hippies and NeW agE people think about so I'm not sure if it's even on the radar for most Christian denominations.

So the issue is this: we have our egos, i.e. the thing we identify with as ourselves and separate from the universe responsible for our own experiences, and when we die, lots of New Agers and Eastern religions say we can choose to hold onto our egos or let them die as we dissolve into the eternal oneness of the universe.

If you do the latter, you basically don't exist as an individual anymore. You partake in the God experience as a part of God, or the universe, or Brahman again. But if you do the former, you defeat the purpose of life and suffer.

I'm very opposed to that idea but I wonder if it gets any Christian treatment.
 

debeguiled

Peacock
Gold Member
@Tex

I think you are on to something. We tend to talk about God like equals debating, or even as if we are superior to him.

It is much more humbling to think that the reason he is the way he is because he is meeting us where we are.
 
Lol good luck with that. The LDS church is built on a shaky foundation. The current 'prophet' and President of the LDS could come out tommorow and declare there's been a new revelation from God and women can now attain the priesthood.

I think there's a high likely hood something along these lines could happen in the next twenty years. If the 'prophet' declares it, it's pretty much set in stone. They have a history of doing this. I think they are not that much more immune to the whims of the cultural rot infesting many sectors of Protestantism.

An officer in the MC once said that at one time the early church senior leadership really struggled regarding who would hold ultimate power at the top. And it was decided that rather than having the apostles vote, that the president of the church would hold all of the power. Now if he were clearly shown to be mentally unstable, he could be retired for health reasons, but otherwise, what he says is law. And so the joke in SLC, in the church office building, is that "if the prophet gets a revelation that every meetinghouse is to be turned into a bowling alley, and serve beer during church services, well, that is what's going to happen!" I told this to a non-Mormon friend, who said if this ever actually occurs, to invite him to attend church with me! ; )
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
My thoughts on this subject have changed a bit since I wrote some posts in here last year. Prompted in part by my church's continual hee-hawing over wokeness nonsense, but other factors as well.

I care less about going to a church with an amazing preacher than ever before. The fact is, if you want good teaching on the Bible and Christian life, there is a mountain of great information to be found online. You can watch the best preachers for free on YouTube, in most cases. The pastor at my church isn't bad, but not a spectacular preacher. I don't think that's the point, though. On the other hand, if they're preaching false doctrine and SJW ideology - that's a clear warning sign. Instead of looking for an entertaining pastor, try to evaluate the community and life around the church. That's something you can't get from a YouTube video.

I'm extremely disillusioned with the entertainment-centric model of contemporary protestantism. I've played with worship bands at churches I've attended and at this point I think it's impossible to escape the fact that a cool band on a stage is going to distract you from God and make it harder to actually worship him. Making things worse is the fact that the average person seems to confuse the emotional state artificially created by dramatic Christian power ballads with actually encountering God. (Not to say that it can't happen in this setting - it can - but I think false positives are a common phenomenon here.)

Increasingly, I suspect that liturgical/high-church/Catholic/Orthodox approaches to worship gets it right, and the entertaining-band-followed-by-a-cool-preacher model gets it wrong (and doesn't have much basis in the Bible or Christian tradition, anyway.) Good teaching and instruction is important, but your church doesn't have to do it all in the online age.
 
The masters of emotional manipulation are in my view Pentecostals. The way their pastors can influence an audience just amazed me. I saw Pentecostal sermons where only an organ was available for music, but that got the job done. I don't think anyone could drift off to sleep during one of their gatherings. Lol

I would sometimes as a young Mormon missionary, get assigned to small towns, without a car, and my district leaders did not want to pick us up for Sunday services, since it would have been a very long drive. And so it would be a Sunday, without a Mormon congregation to attend. This would make us feel very depressed, and so my companion and I decided to start visiting non-Mormon churches, without asking anyone for permission! Lol We went to a fantastic Pentecostal Church, in our missionary outfits, and were treated warmly. The pastor invited us to the meal, immediately following the sermon, which was some of the best food I have ever eaten. Fried chicken and potatoes to die for... And the young women in the congregation, many of them were simply gorgeous! The forum members would have drooled over them... What I found amusing was that their clothes covered up everything, but was so tight, that it completely showed off their nice figures! They might as well have been at the beach! From what I saw, they did not stay single long.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I was going to mention this in my post the other day, but forgot until now: some observations on Mormon culture.

While I greatly admire the Mormon emphasis on family and culture, and think there's a lot that right-wing Americans and other Christian traditions could learn from it, I've also read some horror stories from ex-Mormons as well. Much of the culture seems very controlling and suffocating, in a way where things look nice on the outside, but internally everyone is afraid of stepping out of line/incurring the wrath of those above them. It strikes me as an environment ripe for exploitation by the power-hungry (which I guess isn't a huge surprise for a religion that was basically founded by the 19th century, American version of Muhammed.)

I've been in churches before that had this kind of dynamic and it was seriously miserable, even though I didn't stick around for long. And I'm somebody who's more than happy to obey the rules and submit to (reasonable) authority figures, so I don't think I'm just seized by some "spirit of rebelliousness" or whatever. I'm sure not all Mormons are like this and there are plenty of healthy families, but that culture of emphasizing performance and keeping up good appearances can conceal rotten foundations. The whole "get-to-heaven-via-good-works" thing is surely tied up into that as well. Many people seem to collapse under the weight of these expectations and wind up going hard in the other direction.
 
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