Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christlike...Money?

I love people. I respect religions outside my own, and I honestly wish blessings upon all of us. That driving spirit leads me to speak as I feel I must today.  My earthly father, Joseph, proves a good man but as a teenager seemed to many somewhat reckless. The parishioners surrounding him decided they oughtn't stain their holy fingers by befriending him, and he sought out acceptance and truth elsewhere. He considers their cold behaviors great blessing, because this search led him to the Mormon missionaries and the rest is history.

A dear friend and learned preacher learned of this story and proceeded to write a Sunday School lesson on the importance of treating people kindly. He related my father's experience and finished his discourse with the great climatic point that this young teenager grew into a successful millionaire and is now giving his money not to his native church but "to perpetuate the Mormon lie." This, he felt, should lead his followers to treat the wayward more kindly. I respect this dear preacher, but I have some questions for any who would think in this manner.

Is money the only consideration that moves you? Can the love of money inspire anyone to become more Christlike? Does the state of a young man's soul or his emotional injuries count for nothing? Is making cash the primary concern of your church? Is this proves the best repentance one can muster after decades?  If even now he is only but a number and a financial resource, does his original church deserve his loyalty or his money?

My friend the preacher I am sure meant well. But allow me, a mere blog writer without divine authority suggest some ideas to broaden all our horizons. Firstly, if we are to invite others to attend our church, let us do so for the right reasons. God can see our hearts and humans can sense hypocrisy. We learn from LDS pulpits to love people deeply and truly and allow that concern and genuine feeling for people to inspire our invitations to church. We repeatedly hear that human beings are neither projects nor numbers on a roster. Humans are divine beings deserving of respect and that no one is so fallen as to be beyond our genuine concern, respect and honest compassion. I see that while most Christian sects find a decline in people wanting to define themselves with any organized church, while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints increases its international membership every year. We reach out to the injured, the black sheep, and the penniless. And you know what?  We have no reason to worry about money. 

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