Saturday, December 19, 2009

Often, It's Our Own Expectations That Are to Blame

One of the most compelling aspects of the foundational theology of Mormonism is the allowance for the exaltation of those outside the faith throughout all time - and that's pretty easy for nearly all members to accept, since they don't see and live and deal with those people's weaknesses on a daily basis. They have no expectations of those who are unknown to them. Our theology also allows for the exaltation of those inside the faith despite nearly ALL issues and weaknesses, but it's harder for many members to accept that - since we tend to judge most and most harshly those whose weaknesses we see most clearly (ourselves often at the top of that list).

Perhaps the greatest test of real charity inside the Church is how we deal with those "of our own" who have let us down - who can't live up to our expectations. Think about that, please, in relation not just to how those in your family and/or your friends who disagree with you see you but how you see those in your family and/or friends whose beliefs you think are wrong. Perhaps they can't seem to understand and accept and value you fully for who you are - judging you as being "less (fill in the blank)" than they are.

Are you doing the same thing to them?

It's hard to claim to love others unconditionally when acceptance is tied up in expectations.

Likewise, it's much easier to SAY we love people whose actions we reject than to SHOW true love for them. Overall, I think the histories of mankind, Christianity and Mormonism all show our difficulty living what we teach as the ideal in that regard.

In John Grisham's "A Time to Kill", the White lawyer tells the Black man he is defending that they are friends. The Black man's response is, essentially, "We're not friends. You've never been to my house. Your daughter doesn't play with mine. You say you see me as equal under the law, but you don't treat me as equal outside this courthouse."

In summary, it's hard to claim love for someone whom you never serve - whose house you never visit and whose children (or friends) don't play / associate with your children (or friends). With respect to this thread, I think it's hard to say you "hate the sin, but love the sinner" if you don't embrace and spend time with the sinner. In my mind, that's a fairly bright line - especially given that pesky Golden Rule and the fact that all of us are sinners in some way.

1 comment:

ji said...

One of the most important things a Christian can do is to break bread with his neighbor.