Religion Magazine

Bashing The Church

By Ldsapologetics
Before we begin let's define what it means to bash a person or an institution. 
Bashingnoun1.the act of beating, whipping, or thrashing:a series of unsolved bashings and robberies2.a decisive defeat:We gave the visiting team a good bashing.3:  to attack physically or verbally<media bashing><celebrity bashing>Attacking the LDS church, being overly critical, finding fault where there is none, and being contentious for the sake of contention is a thing. But it is a thing that is a matter of perspective and opinion.However when my wife and I made our way from the LDS church the Community of Christ any negative observation of the LDS church was seen as us bashing the church.Those negative facts were brushed aside and mental gymnastics ensued to make negative facts either benign or positive.For example the new policy making gay members apostates and denying their children blessings, sacraments, and ordinances is totes legit. It in no way is hurtful or morally reprehensible. Or maybe it's flawed but the Brethren are lead by God so it's not really the mistake it appears to some to be. Or policy is flawed but the doctrine on which policy is based is sound and true.It's not at all ragingly homophobic, it just looks that way to the church's enemies.Furthermore, anyone who criticizes the church, no matter how valid the facts presented may seem, is attacking and bashing the church.It reminds me of the following quote from Apostle Dahlin H. Oaks: "It is wrong to criticize the leaders of the church even if that criticism is true."And here's the link excerpt is from the PBS documentary The Mormons.And there's the rub, it's an all or nothing proposition; either you accept everything the brethren say or you accept none of it and you just need to pray more. Meaning you're not praying right unless and until you completely agree with the Brethren or at the least acquiesce and become completely obedient. But if you dare to bring up the negatives of LDS history or of church leaders past and present then you are attacking the church even if those critiques are factual.Many people like myself and my wife have gone through or are still going through a faith transition/faith crisis because we have found many of the "antiMormon lies" to be verifiably factual.The idea that the Brethren are doing the thinking for the majority of LDS members has been bolstered by a recent study. Here's a link to the CNN article detailing the study group called Mormon Gender Issues Survey Group polled 48, 984 active Mormons. When asked if those respondents approved of female ordination 10% said yes. When asked if they would approve of female ordination of church leaders received a revelation declaring female ordination to be The Lord's will, 77% said they too would approve.All that changed was whether or not church leaders approved. Keep in mind when the church was being petitioned by both members and non members to allow black men the priesthood church leaders said it was God's will to deny black men the priesthood and black families Temple rites and ordinances.Except when the church itself released an essay on that stated it was in fact not God's will but the "opinions" of church leaders. So maybe in 140 years the assertion that gays are apostates and women will never recieve the priesthood were in fact the opinions of church leaders rather than the will of God.What would be comical if it weren't so tragic is the fact that I have mentioned this study to LDS family and they assert that it is a matter of faith to respond to the survey in such a way as to merely appear that members are farming out their thinking to church leaders and simply following the leader.Were it a study about anything else it would be accepted as fact but when it demonstrates the age old adage that "Once the leaders have spoken, the thinking has been done" it is doubted. Unpleasant facts simply cannot be true it seems.It is appalling to me that all of these negative facts about the LDS church are not dealt with except by mental gymnastics and the fault for these toxic facts and features of Mormonism are laid squarely at the feet of those whose only crime is observing them. That fact alone is an indictment of church members as well as church leaders. It plays a massive role as to why so many assert that the LDS church is a cult.When my wife simply stated on Facebook that "I'm so grateful to be a part of a church that welcomes all, even gay and transgendered members. A welcomed difference from my last church." She was attacked personally in a very abusive fashion for "bashing" the LDS church. Any negative fact brought to light, any unfavorable contrast or comparison was viewed as bashing the LDS church.Furthermore, nothing stated was untrue. None of it. Everything my wife said is verifiably factual and rather straight forward. There were no rants or tirades, no vicious over blown attacks. Simply stating that there are many things about our new church that are exceptionally refreshing especially when compared to our former one. That's it. But because what was stated made the LDS church look bad, it was described as bashing, attacking, and promoting "Anti-Mormon lies" and my wife and I both were attacked for it. Defensive much?I'm struggling to understand why there is such an over sensitivity to any critique or criticism. Why is there a complex that arises when any fact casts the LDS church, past or present, in an unfavorable light?I have always been suspicious of any person or institution that is fearful of intellectuals, scholars, and feminists.I also find it quite telling that once these negatives are brought up about modesty and purity shaming, as an example, get brought up all the sudden church members are saying "Everybody makes mistakes, we shouldn't judge. We should just love one another."Thing is if loving one another rather than judging and condemning were the message being presented there wouldn't be an issue.Which seems to prove the point that when church leaders make mistakes, like this new policy about gay members and their children, mistakes that cost lives by murder or suicide, they need to be loved and forgiven rather than judged and condemned.But if it's a rank and file member like you or I then they need to be judged, condemned, disciplined, shunned, and cut off from the community they grew up in. After suffering the loss of family and the community they grew up in can we in any way act surprised that these members take their own lives as a result? Do we really have that right?These issues need to be addressed, they need to be delved into if we are to have any hope of saving lives. And we can't do that if we are silenced by cries of Anti-Mormon lies and propaganda, of attacking the sacred, of bashing the church.This policy about LGBT members is not a matter of semantics, it is not a matter of ideals, it is not a matter of viewing the world as it should be rather than how it actually is. It's a matter of saving lives we are currently pushing away. Lives we are stripping of value, community, family, and most incredibly of all-God's love.We can't improve the LDS church if we refuse to admit there are any problems at all. We can't save lives if we refuse to acknowledge that this policy and others like them are taking lives. We cannot deal with problems if we refuse to admit that there are any.God's love is unconditional. Those who say it is are giving it away and those who say it isn't are selling something.Bashing The Church

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