And, whatever some evangelical leaders may say, we must not back away from the sad reality that Mormonism is not even remotely Christian. But we must remember that we will not convince Mormons with rational arguments alone. All of these things are important, but we must remember that, deep within their hearts, Mormons fear that Joseph Smith is wrong.
The Spirit can conquer this kind of deception, and he does so through the word of truth. It does mean presenting the big picture of Scripture, tying it together in the pinnacle of all truth, Jesus of Nazareth. When Jesus was walking with the dejected disciples to Emmaus, he took them through all of the Scriptures, showing them how the Christ was the focus of them all. This was not, and is not, the anti-propositional relativism of postmodern epistemology, nor is it the irrational mysticism of New Age occultism. It is the human heart created in the image of God, freed by the Spirit, resonating with the truth.
We must remember this when we welcome our LDS neighbors over for dinner, or when we lovingly spend an evening with diligent Mormon missionaries. When divine revelation is presented in all of its Christocentric glory, there is a longing within us for this story. And more than that, it is the truth, and the way, and the life. That is good news for Latter-day Saints, and for old-time sinners like us. You have been subscribed! We were not able to add you. Please check your name and email and try again.
Tweet Share. Next Should Christians Adopt Embryos?
Related Posts. Dialogue with Mormons who represent official LDS teaching is interreligious dialogue. One must again keep in mind that Mormonism is still very young. It is only now beginning to develop an intellectually serious theological tradition. As noted earlier, there is the interesting phenomenon of Mormon thinkers appealing to the Christian tradition, from Irenaeus through C. Lewis, in support of aspects of their doctrine. Increasingly, at least among some Mormons, the claim is that they are Christians in substantively the same way that others are Christians.
It is a claim we should question but not scorn. Such a claim contains, just possibly, the seed of promise that over time, probably a very long time, there could be within Mormonism a development of doctrine that would make it recognizable as a peculiar but definite Christian communion. Such attempted development, however, could produce a major schism between Mormons who are determined to be Christian, on the one hand, and the new religion taught by the LDS on the other. Meanwhile, Mormonism and the impressive empire of the LDS will likely be with us for a long time.
They are no longer an exotic minority that is, by virtue of minority status, exempt from critical examination and challenge. I am skeptical about the more dramatic projections of Mormon growth in the future. The leadership of the LDS will have to decide whether its growth potential is enhanced or hampered by presenting Mormonism as a new religion or as, so to speak, another Christian denomination.
Sometimes they seem to want to have it both ways, but that will become increasingly difficult. And, of course, for Mormons whose controlling concern is spiritual, intellectual, and moral integrity, questions of marketing and growth, as well as questions of institutional vitality and communal belonging, must be clearly subordinated to the question of truth.
As for the rest of us, we owe to Mormon Americans respect for their human dignity, protection of their religious freedom, readiness for friendship, openness to honest dialogue, and an eagerness to join hands in social and cultural tasks that advance the common good. That, perhaps, is work enough, at least for the time being. But it seems to me there are at least a couple of aspects that have not received the attention they deserve.
As anyone knows who has had to cope with it in families and friends, mental disorder can be a dreadfully serious business. When mental disorder is handled as it is by this report, however, the subject is trivialized and politicized in a way that invites dismissiveness. I recall another front page story in the New York Times about twenty years ago when the psychological establishment issued a report claiming that something like 30 percent of the population of New York City, and 45 percent of people in Manhattan, were mentally disordered.
Based upon my experience in New York, I thought the figures much too low. So it is also with the new nationwide statistic of one in five. I should think that, given the definition of disorder, the figure is at least four in five. I know that I do. I am, like the Mikado, making up a little list of people in need of mental treatment.
The task is greatly facilitated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM of the American Psychiatric Association, which lists more than three hundred kinds of mental illness. Histrionic Personality Disorder is something else. She broke my heart in high school. The prescription is to get a new culture or religion.
Finally, if you deny that you are suffering from a mental disorder, you should know that that is a symptom of a disorder known as Non-Compliance with Treatment. It is an additional sign of disorder if you resent, refuse to pay, or pay late your bills for treatment. One has to admire the DSM for the way it ties up all the strings on the therapeutic package. Those issuing the report do not seem to catch the irony that its purpose is to induce a sense of distress and anxiety about both the mental health of the American people and the state of health care.
In the biblical scheme of things, we live in a world radically disordered by sin. Deep anxiety about this unhappy state of affairs is the mark of a person on the way to spiritual and mental health. For instance, we are told that, among Americans age eighteen to fifty-four, Now, even if we could agree on a plausible definition of such disorders, how could one possibly determine what percentage of a hundred million people have such experiences?
Think about it. Science marches on. Why does something that is legitimate require treatment? But, of course, the purpose of the report is to sell treatment, and toward that end to reduce embarrassment about purchasing it. People with mental illness, especially those with psychosis, are perceived to be more violent than in the past. Aunt Martha puts salt in her cooking where the recipe calls for sugar because she believes that the Trilateral Commission has falsified all the cookbooks. In this respect, as in others, Aunt Martha is just a little—if I may still be permitted the term—crazy.
Ex-mormon Christians United For Jesus | Sharing Biblical truth in love | Ministering To Mormons
Similarly, the parishioner who after Mass insists that I shake hands with his wife, although she died four years ago, is not the least bit violent. He is very strange in a perfectly harmless, indeed rather endearing, way. If, God forbid, the Surgeon General breaks his leg or comes down with prostate cancer, there is certainly no stigma attached to that.
If, however, he and others responsible for this report suffer from anxiety disorders and dissociative thinking that results in logical incoherence, it may tend to discredit their arguments. Whether there is an effective treatment is quite another matter. Again, mental illness is a very serious subject deserving of very serious attention.
Better yet, there is that new volume in the Collected Works of G. It just might work. If Mr. But how can he possibly do that? Barbara is a priestess in the Religion of Art. That, surely, points the way for Mr. He should maintain that his painting of white stripes on the defaced Virgin Mary was itself a work of art. Let us, however, check Mr. In recent years we have seen a pile of bricks, a cow cut in half, piles of human ordure, and many other minor outrages presented by the artists as works of art and timidly accepted by the viewing public as such. All were exhibited by respectable galleries and all reviewed, generally respectfully, by the art critics.
Both Mr. Maybe someone should enter him for the Turner Prize competition? Art is transgressive—meant to outrage and disturb. Here Mr. Heiner has succeeded beyond the dreams of most artists. Not only has he transgressed the law itself—when even the bolder spirits in Bohemia studiously avoid a night in the cells—but the entire conventional art establishment is in a perfect rage at his actions. For he has revealed that the modernist tradition in painting now exhibits the inert imagination and frozen predictability that Duchamp wrongly attributed to the established artists of his day.
It is all trivial gestures of revolutionary defiance to loud corporate applause. Chris Ofili—a Duchamp at the end of this particular artistic tether—could paint a mustache on the Virgin Mary, so to speak, but after sawn-off cows, unmade beds, and piles of ordure, he could hardly hope to shock anyone by doing so. By whiting out the mustache, however, Dennis Heiner has thrown Bohemia into a complete tizzy. Great Art is never recognized in its own day.
Surely the final proof of Mr. No one, it seems, has recognized the revolutionary force of his artistic gesture. Heiner has turned the world right side up. With a few simple bold strokes of white paint, he has defaced a ruin, desecrated the sacrilegious, and deconstructed a slum.
He goes so far as to suggest that, by comparison, ours might more aptly be called the age of faith. This met with incredulity from some commentators. I expect the answer is obvious, and it has to do with the ways in which America is confusedly Christian. In perfectly good faith, people tell the interviewers that they are Methodist or Baptist or Roman Catholic or Lutheran, sensing no inconsistency with their interest in the esoteric or occult doctrines of New Age spiritualities. There is also cognitive dissonance within the religious worlds of Christianity.
The discomfort of that dissonance is ameliorated by paying slight attention to the cognitive. It suggests that they are not capable of amendment, that they are unruly or out of control. In saying that America is incorrigibly Christian, I intend to suggest precisely that. I certainly do not mean that everything that goes under the label of Christianity is authentically Christian. What constitutes authentic or orthodox Christianity is, of course, a much controverted subject, and has been from the beginning.
Fundamentalists and evangelicals have a habit, irritating to many who are not fundamentalists or evangelicals, of saying that someone is a Christian or became a Christian on a specific date, meaning the person had a prescribed conversion experience and holds to certain tenets considered essential to authentic Christianity. A recent book written by an evangelical opines that, while only God knows for sure, it is reasonable to think that less than 10 percent of Americans are Christians. The rest of the population is Roman Catholic.
The Catholic Church, too, has a very definite position on what constitutes orthodox Christianity, a position for which it claims the authority of two thousand years of doctrine institutionalized in the Magisterium, or teaching office, of the Church. There are more than a billion Catholics in the world—a little over half of the total Christian population—and they are often related to that teaching authority in a manner that might generously be described as flexible. Most of them have never read a papal encyclical and may be only vaguely aware of the doctrines expounded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church , but they are sure that they are Catholic Christians.
Sometimes, especially in Latin America, which is the most densely Catholic region of the world, flexibility reaches a level of promiscuity that is aptly called syncretism, meaning a hodgepodge mix of Christianity with beliefs and practices that the Church would hardly recognize as authentically Christian.
Santeria is a curious mix of Catholicism and African religions, in which Catholic saints are identified with various nature gods and goddesses. When asked why the Santeria leaders were not invited, the Cardinal of Havana seemed surprised by the question. The answer was obvious. It is a generously flexible disposition toward beliefs and practices that somehow derive from or gravitate toward what we might recognize as authentic Christianity. Some sociologists of religion have also referred to American Shinto, meaning a culturally pervasive but doctrinally indeterminate religiosity similar to Shintoism in Japan.
The catholic sensibility on this score was well expressed in the nineteenth century by John Henry Newman:. But for the purposes at hand there are few purity tests; Christianity is understood as a flexible, fluid, and protean reality. Almost all of social reality flows into it, through it, out of it, and back into it again. That is in the nature of religion, and not only of religion. The erotic and economic penetrate and suffuse almost everything. The territorial ambitions of academic disciplines tempt writers to try to encompass everything within their specialty.
Thus, for instance, a recent article in an academic journal on whether the decision of Jesus to embark on the course that got him crucified stands up to cost-benefit analysis. In this view, everything is economics. Those whose specialty is religion are subject to the same temptation, and end up declaring that everything is religion—or, in a dominantly Christian society, that everything is Christianity. The result is a tautology that serves no useful function at all.
The Christian factor cannot be controlled or even tracked with any degree of precision. Certain explicitly Christian statements, actions, and institutions can be pinpointed, but Christianity is pervasive and variable. A simple analogy may be useful. Apple or Microsoft are putting me on notice that I do not own these programs; they are just selling me permission to use them. But of course this is largely a fiction. There are millions of pieces of software out there being used in ways over which the manufacturer has no control.
They can be manipulated, combined, and recombined with results that bear little resemblance to what was originally purchased. No analogy is perfect, but it is something like that with Christianity in America. We should not lose sight of the fact, however, that nine out of ten users still claim that their moral and spiritual software is Christianity. At the risk of pushing the analogy too far, one notes that most of them regularly go to churches where, so to speak, they have the manufacturer re-authenticate the programs they are using.
And, of course, in America there are enough manufacturers of the product called Christianity that almost anything can get certified as authentic. With the ashes the cross is traced on our foreheads.
Distinctive Beliefs of the Mormon Church
But then the solemnity is countered by church music for which somebody should do penance in this penitential season. Somebody named Tom Conry is responsible for this bit of doggerel, set to a tune of Broadway kitsch and peddled by New Dawn Music:. Do we rise from ashes or bow to the ashes that signify our mortality? If all the world is ashes, how can our lives, which are undoubtedly part of the world, be true? Published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science , the report was based on survey research that showed an awful lot of men beating up on women.
What was not said, according to the National Post , is that the same research showed that women beat up on men at an equal rate, with women saying that, in the case of more severe conflicts, they started it two-thirds of the time. The school day will begin early and end with a study hall from 7 p. One cannot help but wonder where the family comes into the picture. Many schools have a period called homeroom. Nativity, it seems, will have a period for home, period. He thought its mission statement might be of interest. We work out of the Roman Catholic tradition. On the second score, the achievement of NCR is undeniable.
Reviewing the book in the Public Interest , James Q. Wilson disagrees. In England and America, changes had begun around the turn of the century and had come into full flower by the end of the First World War. The Bloomsbury set had replaced Queen Victoria, resistance to war had replaced habitual patriotism, and writers argued that crime was the result of social injustice rather than a weak human nature. By the s, artists and musicians had taken up heroin, just as in the s they took up marijuana and in the s and s they took up cocaine.
At first, ordinary people continued in their customary cultural patterns. They flirted with sexual expression and personal liberation in the s, but soon the Great Depression and the Second World War put an end to those adventures. Those two decades—the s and the s—could be called the Great Timeout: a two-decade interruption in the process of self-liberation.
But when the war ended, and as the children of the Baby Boom reached adolescence, self-liberation returned with a vengeance and the Great Disruption was born. This produced many good things—for example, a concern for civil rights—but many bad ones, too. The tragedy for ordinary people, as Myron Magnet has pointed out in The Dream and the Nightmare , is that they often lack the resources with which to fight back against decadence. The rich can afford psychotherapy and drug treatment programs; the poor cannot.
The rich can use gates and guards to protect their homes; the poor cannot. The rich can send their children to good private schools; the poor cannot. And so social elites can more readily cope with the defects of contemporary society while the poor, and much of the middle class, must await the slow reemergence of a more virtuous culture. The supposition was always misguided, but sometimes the Church got away with it.
In the postmodern world, this sort of preaching and teaching and liturgical composition merely expresses the desperation of those who in their meaningless world can believe nothing but vaguely wish they could. You live in a time of religious military zealots, abortion-clinic bombings, and TV evangelists attempting to take power in our land. Here operates an unconditional surrender to the freedom of God to speak to whomever in whatever language is understandable. In this space you can walk the labyrinth of life to the tune of the Spirit which you uniquely hear. Immunity from religious control is granted you upon entry.
But they are still hanging around. On the other hand, such an international gathering in India costs big dollars. In a recent interview he had some candid words about realities that threaten to undermine the enormous progress that has been made in the dialogue. This might have been justifiable, indeed necessary and salutary, at some point in the past in order to awaken the conscience of the Christian world to a reconsideration of the attitude toward the Jews. And, indeed, that approach did bear a lot of fruit.
It did awaken powerfully the conscience of the Christian world. It played an enormously important role in bringing the dialogue to where it is, to what it has achieved. But this prosecutorial approach, whatever its merits in the past, has run its course. Instead of helping to jolt us into progress, it is threatening to undo the achievements that have already been made. I have pleaded—I have begged, emotionally—my friends on the Jewish side to desist, to rethink their approach, because the continuation of these aggressive prosecutorial behaviors and statements are really creating a tremendous amount of resentment, mostly among those who have been most committed to the Jewish-Catholic dialogue.
This simply is not admissible. Our relationship with the Jewish people is a reality of brotherhood, friendship, love, and solidarity. I would [decry] any thought of that. At the same time, I personally think that, on the Catholic side, this may also help us to come to a realization that we must not settle for the kind of institutionalized dialogue with a handful of officials from a handful of organizations on the Jewish side. We must broaden it into a people-to-people dialogue.
Now we must engage the Jewish community in Israel and abroad directly and on a broad front. So, in a time when the Vatican is taking a close look at Catholic institutions, Seattle University is taking a broader approach that Fr.
- Erotic Night!
- Cétait écrit ! (French Edition)!
- Shadow Seer: Book Two of The Scroll of Shadows Trilogy.
- You are here.
Going back some years now, Catholic universities have been accused of peddling Catholic Lite. Whom are we to convert if not the unconverted? But who would have thought Canada would beat us to it? A Jewish atheist might cite the religious reason as a further injury.
About that, they are right. The displacement of guilt from the true perpetrators of real crimes, and the repeated charges of homophobia, merely gives thugs like Henderson and McKinney an excuse for an inexcusable and wicked act. About the same time, a thirteen-year-old boy in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, was repeatedly sodomized by two homosexual men and suffocated with his own underwear.
But I cannot agree with those who contend that the Arkansas crime should have received media attention comparable to that accorded those crimes. There is no denying that the skewed reporting of the dominant media operates by multiple standards. As George Orwell observed a long time ago, some deaths are politically interesting and others are not. It is that exploitation that is to be deplored, not the fact that the Arkansas horror did not receive comparable publicity. The remedy for a dishonest and meretricious media is not equal-time exploitation.
Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. Many in Russia, among those who have found Christ or are sincerely seeking him, have begged me to tell you that you must not accept the political games of the top hierarchy as an honest expression of their feelings. Above all, they implore you to forgive them, not to abandon them, and not to forget them; they do not want you to fall into the traps often set so that you will distance yourself from them.
If this were to happen, it would really be the end of Russia. If the end has not come, it is to a large extent, and I repeat it again, thanks to Your Holiness, and on behalf of those in Russia who know it, I was asked to say to you, Holy Father: may God fully reward you. That was taken for granted, and everybody, more or less, got along.
Since World War II, he writes, Jewish organizations, backed by the court system, have largely succeeded in creating a naked public square, acting on the preposterous assumption that the 2 percent of the population that is Jewish can force the 95 percent that is Christian to go along with the idea that the Constitution forbids any public recognition of the religious realities of America. Kristol notes that there is now something of a religious revival among Christians, and a modest revival among Jews, the latter driven in part by alarm over the rate of intermarriage approaching 50 percent.
It is not clear, however, that this new situation is prompting second thoughts among Jewish leaders. It is fair to say that American Jews wish to be more Jewish while at the same time being frightened at the prospect of American Christians becoming more Christian. It is also fair to say that American Jews see nothing odd in this attitude. Intoxicated with their economic, political, and judicial success over the past half century, American Jews seem to have no reluctance in expressing their vision of an ideal America: a country where Christians are purely nominal, if that, in their Christianity, while they want the Jews to remain a flourishing religious community.
One can easily understand the attractiveness of this vision to Jews. What is less easy to understand is the chutzpah of American Jews in publicly embracing this dual vision. Such arrogance is, I would suggest, a peculiarly Jewish form of political stupidity. For the time being, American Jews are getting away with this arrogance. Indeed, American Christians—and most especially the rising evangelical movements—are extraordinarily tolerant, if more than a little puzzled, by this novel Jewish posture.
And the lack of any negative Christian reaction has only encouraged American Jews in the belief that they have discovered some kind of universally applicable formula for dealing with non-Jews. Most relevant to the United States today is exclusion from the booming economic life of the country. There are so few decent jobs in most urban ghettos that many people simply give up looking for work. This amounts to the institutionalization of despair. When human beings are told repeatedly that they are simply not needed, it takes extraordinary self-confidence to keep trying.
Such messages, built into class structures of American life today, lead to the drugs and violence of many American urban centers today. He works from economics to culture, rather than from culture to economics. Ordinarily capable people who keep trying, or try in the first place, are in this economy generally given the message that they are needed and welcome.
Should Christians Adopt Embryos?
On that score, one may even go so far as to suggest that Fr. Hollenbach, although it is surely not his intention, comes distressingly close to blaming the victim. Here are a few with which I was not familiar. Not bolshevism, which Stalin liquidated along with the old Bolsheviks; not Nazism, which perished with Hitler in his Berlin bunker; not fascism, which was left hanging upside down from a lamppost, along with Mussolini and his mistress—none of these, history will record, was responsible for bringing down the darkness on our civilization, but liberalism.
A solvent rather than a precipitate, a sedative rather than a stimulant, a slough rather than a precipice; blurring the edges of truth, the definition of virtue, the shape of beauty; a cracked bell, a mist, a death wish. I cannot express what I believe, whereas they express what they cannot possibly believe. The business of reaching for power does something to a man—it closes him off from other men until, day by day, he reaches the point where he instinctively calculates each new situation and each other man with the simplest question: what can this do for me?
The process is as inevitable, and as frightening, as hardening of the arteries. I immediately thought of my noble friend, Henry Hyde. So did grownups. It was the most natural thing in the world to walk down the street whistling a tune. I would awake mornings and hear somebody whistling his way to work.