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Bill Reel announces excommunication is official, as a recording of his Disciplinary Council is released.

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13 minutes ago, Meerkat said:

They are courts of love.  The main reason for excommunication is to help people start over.  When they are repentant, rarely are they excommunicated.  If they insist on harming the reputation of the Church, don't believe the leaders are inspired by God and they aren't willing or able to accept their authority, they shouldn't be members, in my opinion.

Sure, people can call them courts of love if they want.  A Dad can beat his child and say he's doing it out of love.  Anyone can judge for themselves what they think about these practices.  I think in Bill's case, its more boundary maintenance, and essentially had nothing to do with helping the person and leading them back to God.  

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Just now, hope_for_things said:

I almost guarantee that this was orchestrated by church HQ, which is the actual machine in this instance. 

Meh.  This sounds like sheer speculation on your part.

Just now, hope_for_things said:

Bill Reel doesn't even qualify as small potatoes by comparison to a multi billion dollar international behemoth like the LDS church inc.  Bill is microscopic in comparison (no offense to Bill).  

Which rather suggests that the General Authorities leave disciplinary matters to the local leaders.  They are busy enough with their other considerable pastoral and administrative duties pertaining to the worldwide Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Sure, people can call them courts of love if they want.  A Dad can beat his child and say he's doing it out of love.  Anyone can judge for themselves what they think about these practices.  I think in Bill's case, its more boundary maintenance, and essentially had nothing to do with helping the person and leading them back to God.  

In this case it had more to do with protecting others then helping him. If you have a suggestion of a way the proceeding would be more likely to bring him back to God I would be genuinely interested to hear it.

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

That's relatively easy in some contexts.  For example, Section 6.7.3 of Handbook 1 of the CHI defines "apostasy" as follows:

The foregoing conduct seems to be quite susceptible to "objective" assessment.

That part is considerably more difficult.  And perhaps largely beyond our purview.

Not really.  For example, I don't think anyone can seriously dispute that Bill Reel's behavior constitutes a violation of the first item above.

Likewise, Gina Colvin joining another Church and advocating its teachings.

Likewise, a member of the Church being in a same-sex marriage.

These are not really "subjective questions with subjective criteri{a}."  They are actually fairly objective.

Thanks,

-Smac

Like I mentioned before, this is all based on assumptions that these rules are directed by God.  I can creatively establish a set of criteria to evaluate virtually anything, but that doesn't make the evaluation process objective if my criteria are fatally flawed in the first place.  

The problem with religious questions like this is they are pretty universally just appeals to authority, which ultimately can't be objectively evaluated.  And for the things that can be objectively evaluated, when that evaluation is done and it turns out to contradict religious claims, the religious side of these arguments always retreat to the subjective.  Things like, well I know its true because God told me.  Best to just not try and claim objectivity in the first place, and admit that its subjective, and not feel bad about that subjectivity.  My love for my wife is subjective as well, and its one of the most important things in my life.  

Gina Colvin - does joining another church require repentance according to God's standard? 

SSM - Does God want them to repent?  

All subjective my friend.  If you're not convinced, I'm not sure what else I can say...  

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Meh.  This sounds like sheer speculation on your part.

Which rather suggests that the General Authorities leave disciplinary matters to the local leaders.  They are busy enough with their other considerable pastoral and administrative duties pertaining to the worldwide Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes, speculation, but seems like common sense based on my observations.  I don't agree that HQ should leave these things up to local leaders only.  I think HQ should establish guidelines and for higher profile cases, they should be involved in my opinion.  Ultimately they shouldn't be Excommunicating people for things like this, that would be my recommendation.  

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1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

Like I mentioned before, this is all based on assumptions that these rules are directed by God.  I can creatively establish a set of criteria to evaluate virtually anything, but that doesn't make the evaluation process objective if my criteria are fatally flawed in the first place.  

The problem with religious questions like this is they are pretty universally just appeals to authority, which ultimately can't be objectively evaluated.  And for the things that can be objectively evaluated, when that evaluation is done and it turns out to contradict religious claims, the religious side of these arguments always retreat to the subjective.  Things like, well I know its true because God told me.  Best to just not try and claim objectivity in the first place, and admit that its subjective, and not feel bad about that subjectivity.  My love for my wife is subjective as well, and its one of the most important things in my life.  

Gina Colvin - does joining another church require repentance according to God's standard? 

SSM - Does God want them to repent?  

All subjective my friend.  If you're not convinced, I'm not sure what else I can say...  

The nice thing about it is that if you do not accept the authority you have lost nothing in any case so there is no way to lose.

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4 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

In this case it had more to do with protecting others then helping him. If you have a suggestion of a way the proceeding would be more likely to bring him back to God I would be genuinely interested to hear it.

I don't agree with your premise that Bill has left God or even needs to be brought back.  I can't really judge another person anyway, but I don't just assume that leaving the church or being Ex'd, means someone has left God, or that God is displeased.  

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Just now, hope_for_things said:

I don't agree with your premise that Bill has left God or even needs to be brought back.  I can't really judge another person anyway, but I don't just assume that leaving the church or being Ex'd, means someone has left God, or that God is displeased.  

So then he is fine.......what is the problem then exactly?

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Oh, brother.  Are you really going to compare A) a disciplinary council, which is a meeting where men get together in a church building, pray, and talk quietly and dispassionately and respectuflly and tactfully with B) child abuse?

This is poisonous stuff.  And disappointing coming from someone who claims to have participated in disciplinary councils.  I'm disappointed.

But whether that judgment is reasoned and proportionate and fair is an entirely different question.

But it's nothing like a father physically abusing his son.

What a low cheapshot.

I think it has everything to do with that.  It also has to do with protecting the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

I actually do think that disciplinary courts can be a form of abuse, not on the same level as child abuse by any means.   I suggest trying to listen to the people who have felt trauma from these councils and their stories. I don't automatically assume that every practice the church is engaged in is either effective or charitable or fair.  I think this practice in particular is a huge waste of time and isn't even effective for the people involved.  We can do so much better, using modern understandings of what kinds of reform practices actually work for people, instead of just following this old tradition.  

Someone's intentions (to help another person) I'm not as concerned about when it comes to institutional practices.  Show me the money, build practices that have the most positive results, and damn the intentions.  We need to structure things better, and good intentions aren't good enough.  

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7 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

He is not even a blip on Salt Lake City’s radar on one hand yet they took time out to deal with him on the other. Seems contradictory.

He was a pesky blip, kind of like a gnat buzzing around a giant.  

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5 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

So then he is fine.......what is the problem then exactly?

Circling back to the original argument, remember I said that evaluating repentance is subjective.  That is what you were trying to prove was incorrect.  

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1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

Like I mentioned before, this is all based on assumptions that these rules are directed by God. 

No, it's not.  What constitutes "apostasy" is fairly well-defined, and whether conduct falls within those well-defined parameters is a fairly objective exercise.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

I can creatively establish a set of criteria to evaluate virtually anything, but that doesn't make the evaluation process objective if my criteria are fatally flawed in the first place.  

Your position is like a sovereign citizen standing up in court and saying "Hey, judge, I don't recognize the authority or jurisdiction of this court, therefore your eviction order has no effect on me."  He can say that, but in practical reality the judge does have authority and jurisdiction.

The same goes for the Church's assessment of what it deems "apostasy."  I happen to believe that the Church is led by God.  But even if it isn't, the Church's guidelines that define "apostasy" are still valid.  The Church is a private organization.  It has every right to establish parameters of acceptable conduct by its members (subject to the limitations of D&C 134:10).

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

The problem with religious questions like this is they are pretty universally just appeals to authority, which ultimately can't be objectively evaluated. 

Some certainly can.  The Church has authority over itself and those who voluntarily associate with it.  The Church is obviously subject to the laws of the land, but otherwise it is free to establish behavioral requirements for its members and penalties for violation of those requirements.  And in some circumstances, violation of those requirements can be objectively evaluated.  Take, for example, the Church's guidelines for what constitutes "apostasy" as set forth in Section 6.7.3 of Handbook 1.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

And for the things that can be objectively evaluated, when that evaluation is done and it turns out to contradict religious claims, the religious side of these arguments always retreat to the subjective. 

Not sure what you are saying here.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

Things like, well I know its true because God told me.  Best to just not try and claim objectivity in the first place, and admit that its subjective, and not feel bad about that subjectivity.  My love for my wife is subjective as well, and its one of the most important things in my life.  

Okay.  But apostate behavior is, I think, something that can be objectively quantified.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

Gina Colvin - does joining another church require repentance according to God's standard? 

I believe so.  But that doesn't matter.  The Church has prohibited its members from formally joining another Church and advocating its teachings.  That behavior fits within the parameters of "apostasy."  An individual's particular actions can therefore be objectively evaluated under Section 6.7.3.

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

SSM - Does God want them to repent?  

I believe so.  But again, that doesn't matter.  Entering into a same-sex marriage is objectively an act of apostasy for a member of the Church.  

1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

All subjective my friend.  If you're not convinced, I'm not sure what else I can say...  

Convinced of what?

Thanks,

-Smac

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16 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Circling back to the original argument, remember I said that evaluating repentance is subjective.  That is what you were trying to prove was incorrect.  

I did not disagree with that. I suppose I do believe it is objective in all cases but only God can evaluate at that level. In many cases to us it is subjective. In some cases though the lack of repentance is objective to all and I would argue this applies in this case.

Metaphor Time!

For example suppose I was walking down a hallway and you tripped me. Afterwards you help me up and apologize. I cannot be 100% sure you are sincerely sorry. Maybe you are holding a grudge for something and tripped me for that reason but covered it up with a false show of penitence. Very subjective.

Now change the scenario so after you trip me you start kicking me in the ribs and face with steel-toed boots. At this point it is pretty objectively established that you are not repentant about the initial tripping.

My argument is Bill Reel’s position on his apostasy falls in the latter category. He showed no sorrow, continued acting in his apostasy, and when given an opportunity to defend himself regarding his apostasy preached more apostasy. Pretty clear-cut.

Edited by The Nehor
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4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I actually do think that disciplinary courts can be a form of abuse, not on the same level as child abuse by any means.   

And yet here you are, having just barely drawn just that comparison.

"Sure, people can call them courts of love if they want.  A Dad can beat his child and say he's doing it out of love."

What an appallingly ugly cheap shot.  I am deeply disappointed.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I suggest trying to listen to the people who have felt trauma from these councils and their stories.

Meh.  A group of men coming together in a church building to pray and quietly discuss sensitive and difficult issues pertaining to a member's misconduct is nothing like a father physically beating his child.

Nothing like.

And yet you just draw that very comparison.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I don't automatically assume that every practice the church is engaged in is either effective or charitable or fair. 

In no circumstance do disciplinary proceedings involve physical abuse of a person.  Or anything close to it.

On the contrary, these meetings are quiet and sober.  And respectful.  They are convened in a sacred, consecrates place.  They are commenced and concluded with prayers.  The communications with the person being disciplined are, in my opinion, uniformly kind and gentle and circumspect.

There is no reasonable comparison between disciplinary councils and a father physically beating his child, as you have suggested.  That is a disgusting and baseless slander on your part, and all the worse since you claim to have participated in such meetings, and hence no better.  You should be ashamed.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I think this practice in particular is a huge waste of time and isn't even effective for the people involved. 

Whether they are a waste of time or effective is irrelevant.  They are nothing like a father beating his child.

At all.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

We can do so much better, using modern understandings of what kinds of reform practices actually work for people, instead of just following this old tradition.  

It's not a matter of "just following this old tradition."  I've lost count of the number of times I have copied and pasted the numerous scriptural mandates pertaining to disciplining members of the Church.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Someone's intentions (to help another person) I'm not as concerned about when it comes to institutional practices. 

Meh.  I'm not interested in navel-gazing exercises like this.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Show me the money, build practices that have the most positive results, and damn the intentions. 

I personally have several dear friends who have all been disfellowshipped or excommunicated.  Three of these come to mind.  All three have returned to activity in the Church.  All three are very happy.  All three are grateful for the disciplinary proceedings they went through, as these helped them come to terms with their misconduct and facilitated repentance. 

That is not always the case, of course.  But whether a disciplinary council helps is mostly up to the individual.

4 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

We need to structure things better, and good intentions aren't good enough.  

Excommunication is a very rare form of discipline.  That is by design.  I'm glad of that.  The Church moves heaven and earth to keep people in the Church.  I'm glad of that.

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Like I mentioned before, this is all based on assumptions that these rules are directed by God. 

Yes, this is what it comes down to.  If a person doesn't believe that, why would they want to be a member? And what difference would it make to them if they were excommunicated from a church they don't believe especially if their main interest is criticizing the leaders, doctrine, scriptures, etc.?

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I did not disagree with that. I suppose I do believe it is objective in all cases but only God can evaluate at that level. In many cases to us it is subjective. In some cases though the lack of repentance is objective to all and I would argue this applies in this case.

Metaphor Time!

For example suppose I was walking down a hallway and you tripped me. Afterwards you help me up and apologize. I cannot be 100% sure you are sincerely sorry. Maybe you are holding a grudge for something and tripped me for that reason but covered it up with a false show of penitence. Very subjective.

Now change the scenario so after you trip me you start kicking me in the ribs and face with steel-toed boots. At this point it is pretty objectively established that you are not repentant about the initial tripping.

My argument is Bill Reel’s position on his apostasy falls in the latter category. He showed no sorrow, continued acting in his apostasy, and when given an opportunity to defend himself regarding his apostasy preached more apostasy. Pretty clear-cut.

If only God can evaluate something then by definition it is subjective.  I really don’t get the push back, as if subjective were somehow a dirty word.  

Even your metaphor has flaws in that the person kicking may have been having a seizure or was being attacked bees.  

What Bill did, can be objectively evaluated, but whether it meets God’s approval or is in need of repentance is a subjective question.  

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1 hour ago, Meerkat said:

Yes, this is what it comes down to.  If a person doesn't believe that, why would they want to be a member? And what difference would it make to them if they were excommunicated from a church they don't believe especially if their main interest is criticizing the leaders, doctrine, scriptures, etc.?

I just don’t see belief as an all or nothing proposition.  Good and bad in this church just like every other human run institution. I see many problems in the process, why should I have faith in that arm of the flesh?  

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I know many people will disagree with me and I expect that;  but many times with doubts or questions...the ball has been put in the church's court...and with no answers...it ends up in the church's court. 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I disagree.  The Church is big on priesthood keys and stewardship and such.  Local leaders have stewardship.

Moreover, establishing some sort of special treatment for self-designated "higher profile cases" would, I think, only incentivize misconduct by people who are in a state of rebellion.  Imagine the theatrics Bill Reel would have put on if he had been disciplined by the Quorum of the Twelve.  

This is a fun reversal.  For once I’m on the side of the church (HQ coordinated discipline) and you are on the other side.  😆

And Smac, I appreciate that you’re engaging in discussion with me, but sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed at the tediousness of the exchange.  In this case I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot and having to clarify nit picky points like your over reacting to my using the example of abuse.  I think you know I’m not taking it to the extreme you’re implying I am, and it’s frustrating to me to have to even be asked to clarify that.  I feel that it’s like how the media takes sound bites out of context and tries to use them to smear an opponent sometimes.  

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

This is a fun reversal.  For once I’m on the side of the church (HQ coordinated discipline) and you are on the other side.  

Well, no.  The Church delegates disciplinary matters to the local leaders.  That makes sense to me.

"HQ coordinated discipline" is not a thing.

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And Smac, I appreciate that you’re engaging in discussion with me, but sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed at the tediousness of the exchange.  

Oh, ditto.  There is quite a bit of tedium involved in listening to members of the Church casually and baselessly slander their own religion by, for example, comparing disciplinary councils to childbeating.

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In this case I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot and having to clarify nit picky points like your over reacting to my using the example of abuse.

We must live in different worlds.  In my world, childbeating is a big deal.  For you, it's a casual slur.  A punchline.

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I think you know I’m not taking it to the extreme you’re implying I am,

The "extreme" of comparing disciplinary councils to childbeating?

I don't need to "imply" it.  You did it.  All I need to do is quote it.

And are you seriously suggesting that such a comparison is not extreme?

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and it’s frustrating to me to have to even be asked to clarify that.  

Clarify what?  The comparison you drew between disciplinary councils and childbeating?  What is there to clarify?

Quote

I feel that it’s like how the media takes sound bites out of context and tries to use them to smear an opponent sometimes.  

I can't take a quote out of context when we are discussing it in the very thread in which you wrote it.

Here it is again: "Sure, people can call them courts of love if they want.  A Dad can beat his child and say he's doing it out of love."

That is a deplorable, disgusting thing to say about the Church.  I think the less of you for it.

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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On 12/4/2018 at 5:42 PM, Duncan said:

it's a screen name for that guy who goes into Temples and apparently goes all over videotaping stuff, Mike Norton is his real name

NNN = New Name Noah

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9 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

This is one of the most sensible summaries of the situation that those of us (myself included) who don’t like the current DC process need to accept.

The process is not designed to find justice. It is not designed to be fair. It is not designed to be right. It is not designed to investigate fully.

It is a proces designed by the leaders of the church to correct behavior the church does not want in its midst.

Yes this is true.  It is their way or the highway.  Common consent in the church is a myth. 

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