Friday, August 23, 2013

What Should the Church Give Us?

Something struck me a while ago about many of the posts I've read over the course of the time I've been commenting in the Bloggernacle. I'm going to block it off as a quote just to highlight it:

Many threads complain that the Church tells us what to do too much - except in those instances where it doesn't give us enough direction.

I really think there's a profound "something" in there - and I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts about it before I add my own commentary.


Unknown said...

What should the church give us? Permission to openly question and discuss during church meetings without the caned with artificial sweetener shut down.

Eric Nielson said...

My take is that the church cannot win on the blogs. It wither tells us to much or not enough. Mostly what the statement says is that the blogs are full of complainers.

Paul said...

I think your observation correctly asserts the human condition: we want what we do not have; we do not want what we have.

I find more peace when I look for what the Lord wants from me rather than what I want from the Lord.

Papa D said...

I agree, Howard, that open discussion, including differing but sincere attempts to understand, in our meetings would be wonderful.

I agree, Eric, that, in many cases, the Church is in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation online. I won't go so far as to say that the blogs are "full" of complainers (especially in comparison to newspaper comment threads), but there is a lot of unproductive complaining that occurs online.

"I find more peace when I look for what the Lord wants from me rather than what I want from the Lord."

I like that, Paul.

Papa D said...

Most fundamentally, I think the Church should provide a diverse community in which Zion can be built - and part of that is learning to accept and value diversity of opinion and belief, not just diversity of physical characteristics. That is focused on the principle that we can't say we have no need of any particular group of people and on loving even as Jesus loved.

I also think it should provide spiritual experiences (not just emotional ones) and a real worship service.

Finally, I believe it should provide a grand theology.

I think, as a whole, we need to do much better creating Zion - that we do everywhere on the spectrum with providing spiritual experiences, and I absolutely LOVE the theology.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of "murmuring"??

Ever heard of Nephi's reply?--"Have ye inquired of the Lord?"

Many of the gripes boil down to the notion that the Church isn't tolerant enough. The question for a murmurer is, "Am I tolerant of a Church I deem to be intolerant?"

The Lord said he gives to all peoples the amount of truth they're willing to live.

What does that say about murmurers? What does it say about those who still haven't learned to be more tolerant of those who disagree with us?

Papa D said...

I agree, Anonymous, that there is a lot of murmuring online - but I also see a lot of concerns expressed that are not examples of murmuring. There often is a HUGE difference between talking about desired changes and murmuring, and I think it's extremely important to realize and acknowledge that difference - and not to accuse sincere, righteous desire for improvement of being murmuring.

After all, we are told not to fall into the idea that all is well in Zion - and a central part of that principle is to be willing to desire and work for improvement in areas that are not in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the building up of the kingdom of God on earth and the establishment of Zion.

Anonymous said...

But your invitation for comments ("the Church tells us what to do too much...") suggested that you had already eliminated those other groups from what you proposed to discuss this time. The wording, "the Church tells us"--as though it were issuing orders--already suggests a resentful attitude. The wording carries those connotations. And resentment breeds murmuring.

I cannot remember the Church ever "telling" me (or anyone else) to do anything; it teaches, it invites, it encourages--and even at times, urges--me to do things. But it's never "told" me to do anything.

Papa D said...

I can see that reading, Anonymous, and there is merit to it - but I think focusing on that word alone could end up making someone an offender for a word. There is a fine line sometimes between telling and asking with the assumption of agreement, and there also is a fine line between "The Church" and "the local leadership" that can be hard for many people to distinguish.