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Valentinus

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  1. Valentinus

    The Cross and Religious Symbols

    I don't much care for the ideas expressed in that article, honestly. You preface it by saying it comes from a personal preference of one of your leaders, yet the article justifies not using the cross as being a better choice, as being inherently better than wearing or using a cross. That's more than just a personal preference -- it is moral bordering on theological. The article sets up the false dichotomy between symbols and what the symbols represent. He says: Not a single Christian wearing a cross would dispute that. In fact, religious symbols are often used to "preach" because they represent so much -- a picture is worth a 1000 words sort of thing. My faith requires no external symbol to be manifest, but the external symbol increases it. I can pray just fine kneeling in a forest. I can also pray just fine kneeling in front of an altar with a crucifix, but the latter deepens my prayer because it shows me symbols of what my faith is and through those symbols I can further understand my faith, in a way that often transcends words. There seems to be an inherent dislike of symbols underlying this talk. Does it come from the LDS protestant/puritan historical background? (Upstate New York early 1800s...) He then goes on to quote scriptures about God not looking on the outside but looking on the inside. No Christian would dispute that. No priest wearing his full vestments would dispute that. Again, it sets up a false dichotomy. Either I have faith without symbols or I have no faith with symbols. Either my faith is real on the inside with nothing on the outside or all I have is the outside with nothing on the inside. That is a false choice. I can have real faith on the inside AND show my faith on the outside, too. You can absolutely have both. He keeps up with the idea that having no symbols on the outside is superior to having symbols on the outside but the only justification he gives is the assumption that symbols on the outside means one's faith is lesser on the inside. And that is a terribly false assumption which is rather offensive. It closes with a harsh barb against the symbol of the cross by President Hinckley: You can preface anything you want with "I do not with to give offense" but if what you say is offensive that preface doesn't mean anything. Read closely what he said. He goes in details the various places that crosses show up in Christianity, to make sure to include almost all Christianity, then says that the LDS message is superior because it is of the Living (notice the capital letter) Christ and the message of Christianity is of the dying (lowercase) Christ. Like a living religion versus a dying religion. A living faith versus a dying faith. This is profoundly offensive AND a complete straw man of Christianity. There is NO way to separate the death of Christ from the resurrection of Christ and it is through His death, His suffering, His pains that we are redeemed. If He had not died for us there would be no atonement. If He had not allowed Himself to suffer one of the cruelest executions, there would be no atonement. He was/is God -- of course He is living. The miracle and beauty of His absolute mercy is that as God, He chose to suffer and die as a mortal for us. The symbol of the cross and of the crucifix is powerful indeed. Our infinite God chose to incarnate as a human, suffer as human, die as a human for us. A living God is a given. The miracle of Christianity is that a living God chose to die for us. I do not say that those who choose to eschew Christian symbols have a lesser faith but that is what was seriously implied in this talk about those who choose to use Christian symbols. This reminds me of the bias that Protestants have against the iconostasis in Orthodox and Byzantine RCC. Overall, I believe it to be a theological misunderstanding. I trust the 7 Ecumenical Councils canons concerning the Cross and icons.
  2. Pssst...the Westminster Confession of Faith is heresy even by LDS standards.
  3. Valentinus

    Spider-Man Has Left the Church

    Rather petulant, IMNSHO.
  4. Valentinus

    Is there room?

    Eastern Catholicism and specifically Byzantine.
  5. That doesn't make sense from a logical and realistic perspective. Organized religion is not synonymous with sexual abuse. Furthermore, it is not a product of organized religion. Jennifer Fulwiler addressed this issue on Catholic Radio.
  6. Valentinus

    Is there room?

    Thanks, Storm! What do you think LDS monasticism would look like as an established part of the church? Would it still include temple work?
  7. Valentinus

    Is there room?

    Could an LDS monastic life be a product of the "in the world, not of the world" philosophy?
  8. Valentinus

    Is there room?

    Is there room in Mormonism** for a monastic way of life? If so, how could the church go about incorporating such a practice? Would it need to begin with a younger generation? Personally, I would love to see what that looks like. **I'm not getting caught up in the name usage debate. 15 pages of exhaustive dialogue! Good grief!
  9. Valentinus

    The Name of the Church

    And that church has indesputably existed without end since the apostles. Sorry to derail. I'm a one man cheer squad.
  10. Valentinus

    Bill Reel announces he faces impending Bishop's Court

    27 pages and nothing of reasonable substance on the accusations against Holland. I've never been comfortable with Reel and I just don't trust him. Why make an issue out of a non-issue? Topics like this make me irritable.
  11. Valentinus

    How big will Jerusalem temple be

    Did I miss something? What temple?
  12. Valentinus

    Woman Denied Temple Recommend for ...

    I just like the fact that you used the word kerfuffle. That is all and I am grateful to you.
  13. Valentinus

    Irreligious Intolerance

    Thank you for bringing this up. I am of the opinion that New Atheism has hardened people's hearts to the point that all empathy has been reserved for anything but religion. Are the religious not equally human and of value as the irreligious? The extremes of having religion and hostile atheism shoved down anyone's throats is reprehensible. Why do people lack the ability to be reasonable? Has compassion become a foreign concept? Why the rude and inappropriate responses? Why not set aside the differences and express love, charity and compassion?
  14. I have to agree with you. For me, the article says more about the author as opposed to the meeting. I guess I'm confused or not grasping the goal of either the meeting or the article. This issue, every time it is revisited, seems like we continue to beat a long dead horse.
  15. Valentinus

    Is There Really More Than One Way to Mormon?

    Not to be narcissistic, but I suppose I am one way to Mormon. I'm not a member and I do not believe in a traditional sense. However, my communing with a community of saints each Sunday (not to be understood as partaking of the Sacrament) and providing help, love and encouragement is my way to Mormon.
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