Sunday, June 05, 2011

Waxing Cold

I sometimes find it ironic that I can't comment in Sunday School class because of my excommunication, and yet I have nothing inflammatory or divisive or controversial to say; yet any ignoramus who has been baptized and maintains full fellowship in the church can blather on with all sorts of ignorant or hurtful comments, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Most Sundays, it doesn't bother me. Most Sundays the stupid comments are not even worth getting upset about. But every once in a while I wish I could just stand up and say, "What you're saying is hurtful and not in the spirit of Christ. You should stop talking now." Today was one of those days.

The lesson was on the signs of the Savior's second coming with Joseph Smith-Matthew as the basis of study. In verse 10 it says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold;" The teacher asked, "What are some examples of men's love waxing cold?"

A particular brother, of whom I have previously written about here and here raised his hand and actually started his comment with, "I'm going to say something I know I shouldn't say, but..." and proceeded to blame gay people for causing people's love to wax cold.

GAY PEOPLE?! We're the reason love in the world is waxing cold?! Really?! Are you kidding me? Actually meet some gay people, Brother Hypocrite! Get to know them. I think you'll find a lot of love and Christ-like attributes among many of them if you do. Although I admit, I'm not showing much of that at this moment. And, Brother, if you know you shouldn't be saying it, why are you?!

To his credit, the teacher responded with "I'm not going to touch that one," and quickly moved on. Another brother - a friend of mine who was present at my disciplinary council - raised his hand and said, "You know what I really think causes men's love to wax cold? When they put judgment before love. Jesus spent his life ministering to the sinners and the people that were supposedly thought to be the worst of society, while chastising the Pharisees, who thought themselves the best. Every person on this earth is a child of God, regardless of their actions or choices. We may or may not agree with what they do, but not one of us is living a sinless or perfect life, so we have no right to judge anyone; only our Father in Heaven does. I have never been in the shoes of another person, so who am I to label him or berate him. I just need to love him. That's what our Father has asked us to do - love each other. We should stop judging so much and just love."

That made me feel better, and I had a tear streaming down my cheek as I silently listened to his words. Then another woman who makes a lot of self-righteous comments said she was so tired of political-correctness and tip-toeing around things for fear of offending someone and that, yes, we should judge people if they are sinning and doing wrong. She said political-correctness was as much of an oxymoron as Arab unity. As I sat quietly stunned by her words, the message I felt coming across (whether she intended it or not) was "I have the right to my prejudices, and I'm going to continue to speak my mind about them." By the way, this is the same sister my mom visit taught and asked to be released from visiting teaching because she could no longer stand to listen to the homophobic and prideful comments she continued to make.

I go to church partially to feel uplifted. I didn't find Sunday School very uplifting. In fact, some of it left me feeling angry, sad, and cold. It always saddens me when religion (and I'm not just speaking Mormonism here because all religions do it) is used as an excuse for people to judge and pridefully assert that they are more righteous than others when, really, we all in the same boat.

It reminds me very much of the verses in Alma 31 about the apostate Zoramites who built Rameumptom in order to boast pridefully about how much better and chosen they were than their brothers, saying such things as "We thank thee, O God, for we are a chosen people unto thee, while others shall perish." And in Alma 32 it talks about how the poor were cast out of the synagogues because they were "esteemed as filthiness." Alma asks those poor, "And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?"

If the Book of Mormon is written for its members, I think there are some valuable lessons we could all learn in there (myself included).

Anyway, I'm over it now. But it did upset me. I just wish people would think a little more before speaking and would keep in mind how Christ treated others.

But, hey, I'm not perfect, either. I've got plenty of faults of my own. Who am I to judge?


J G-W said...

I'm sorry to hear about this...

I guess it's fairly self evident to me whose love in that room had waxed cold.

I'm just sayin'.

Heidi said...

What can I say? The homophobes are lame. You are way more Christ like than those who are judging you.

I think part of your mission is to create awareness and understanding.

The people who make fools of themselves with their comments also create awareness. Awareness that there are simple minded people...the exact kind of people I strive NOT to be like.

Beck said...

I'm deeply sorry as well. You would think the lesson could end on the person's comment about not judging - very profound and appropriate.