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The church needs more apostates

November 30, 2008

Why? So we can have more ex-apostates.

I’m not making this up.

One commenter notes that:

Hopefully this will cause us active members of the church to treat apostates with the same unconditional love we’re obligated to show to all, so that more apostates will become ex-apostates. As Richard Dutcher said, we’re taught the parable of leaving the 99 sheep to go after the one, but too often, instead we pull out a hunting rifle and blow his wandering head off. We certainly need more ex-apostates, and we need more active members realizing that every apostate is a potential ex-apostate who should be treated with love and patience regardless of which choice they ultimately make.

Get that? Dear members, it’s your fault when people apostasize and don’t come back, because you didn’t show them the unconditional love (that was somehow conditional on this hope, even if it doesn’t pan out, that they would come back to the fold.)

My favorite rabble-rouser Nick Literski ripostes:

Viewing every apostate as a “potential ex-apostate” is akin to viewing every non-LDS person as a potential convert. It doesn’t go well, and frankly, a common complaint against LDS members is the tendency to stop reaching out once the “potential” looks unlikely to embrace the LDS faith. I like your end point, that “apostates” should be treated with love “regardless of which choice they ultimately make.”

What a novel idea!

The first comment is one of those things that makes you kinda smile and shake your head because you know people are really trying, but they just don’t know how to say it right (I get those experiences a lot; you can’t blame people, because you know they mean well, but still…it’s a mental trainwreck).

I mean, this unconditional love…it’s a nice thing to say…but I think a lot of people miss what it means…it’s unconditional. Now, many people will say, “I have unconditional love for my ex-mormon/disaffected friends; I just hope that they will come back.” And they know that even if the person never comes back, they will have unconditional love. It’s just that they’ll also always keep hoping that they come back.

But you see…this is what clouds up the “unconditionality.” See…this is really conditional love that hinges on a hope that the person will see the certain error of their ways and return to the fold. What makes it appear unconditional is that, even if the person never rejoins or never reconciles, the member still has *hope* that reconciliation is possible, so when members say they have unconditional love, they tend to mean it forever and not, as Literski points out is also common, only until “the “potential” looks unlikely to embrace the LDS faith.”

…But I’m not sure what is worse: someone who will drop me like a bad habit as soon as they feel I’m hopeless or someone who will incessantly hope that I “see the error of my ways” and return. Both show an utter lack of respect for my decisions. But can I blame them? When someone believes they have the Truth, it’s tough to accept any other way. This isn’t a Mormon problem. This is a Human problem. I can’t say I’m immune to it, but I would like to hope that facing adversities like this makes me just a little more sensitive and sympathetic to the plights of others. Probably not. I should not apply for sanctification soon.

I do lament that this is a massive turn-off. So ironically, someone will say, “Oh, I’m sorry that those bad Mormons would think that way. A true Christian would never do that! I hope you come to see the true light despite your past experience.”

Way to miss the point. Good bye.

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One Comment
  1. this is a really great topic, thanks

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