Saturday, April 26, 2008

This week in Correlation: Reader Question about a Gopsel Paradox?

I just got an anonymous e-mail, asking me the following question:

I brought up something in church the other day, but they cast me out as a heretic, chasing me from the building with cries of "she's a witch! Burn her!" I escaped, but am still confused. Perhaps you can help:

1. God loves us all and wants us to return to the Celestial Kingdom.
2. BUT: After judgment, some of us will be assigned to the Terrestrial, and some to the Telestial, and a few benighted types will wind up in the place that must not be named. Not everyone gets to go Celestial.

OK, so loves me and my sister, how is it that my sister could go Celestial, whereas I might go Telestial? Does that mean God really didn't love me?

Doesn't love trump silly things like having to repent, after all?

Monday, April 21, 2008

New feature: Ask Mr. Screwtape!

Dear Mr. Screwtape:
I think the Bloggernacle is fertile ground for brining souls to our Father below. I was thinking that the current unpleasantness in Iraq might be a useful wedge issue to distract people from following the precepts of our Enemy. Do you have any advice?

Dear Mugglewumperid:

As I once told my delicious nephew Wormwood,

I had not forgotten my promise to consider whether we should make the patient an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist. All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged . . . Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the "cause", in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of Pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material for obedience. Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more "religious" (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.
The same rules apply now, though I was discussing an earlier World War. In fact, several of my pupils already have several members of the Bloggernacle well down this path. (These links are only some of the more typical examples - these people are everywhere on the Bloggernacle). Most have not quite gotten all the way down the path, but they progress with every new post.

Notice how they begin by treating their specific views on the war as a integral part of their religion. Soon, under the influence of this partisan spirit, they will soon (some already have) come to regard it as the most important part. Eventually, politics will trump religion, and then we will have them. I suggest you study their work carefully and apply these techniques to whomever you have been charged with.

Affectionately Yours,


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This week's Correlated Post: Revisionist Writers of the Gospels?

Recently, a friend asked me for help in creating a lesson centered on Jesus. I decided to go back to the original source, the true and infallible Gospels, which were written by Christ's apostles during his ministry and therefore contain no errors. Or, at least, so I thought.

Now I don’t know about you but but if the writers of the Gospels were as infallible as I was taught, they should have been able to keep their stories straight. I went to the Gospel of Matthew, then the Gospel of Mark, followed by Luke and then John. I was shocked!

Matthew refers to Jesus as the Son of God. Luke calls him the Son of Man. John calls him the Word of God. And they can't even agree on when Jesus cleansed the temple. What kind of bizarre revisionism were the writers of the Gospel involved in? John's account clearly contradicts the other Gospel writers. I always thought that John was a little shady anyway, writing about himself in the third person and all that.

Frankly, there is no way to reconcile this. Which account, which will contradict other scripture no matter what, will become the standard? Are we uncomfortable with the idea that the names and dates that John used are now foreign to the other Gospels? Am I just straining at gnats and swallowing camels?

How do we handle John's clear contradictions with the other Gospels?

View Results

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Correlated Comment

Sigh.  Don't you just hate it when an excellent a productive discussion loses its steam because overly sensitive PC commentators can't stand it when someone actually believes what the gospel teaches (instead of believing what the liberal orthodoxy demands)?  These unnecessary and inflammatory comments are out of place and derail an otherwise excellent post.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Steve Evans has banned me.


Steve - try to do something unexpected for once.

Perhaps if I acted like MCQ and had my nose planted firmly between [redacted for the sensibility or our readers], I would instead become one of the in-crowd.  No matter.  The Correlator's job is a lonely, but vital one.  Still, Steve really needs to get a new bag of tricks. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Relief Society Programs - You make the call!

You have recently been shamed into accepting a lowly calling to a position in the ward that requires your attendance at ward council (if they only recognized your true  talents, you'd be Bishop!) You just moved in six days ago, and one of the things you noticed right away is how people in the ward are busybodies who apparently have no leisure time and ignore their families in order to waste time at long meetings. You're already looking at a new residence in another state with fewer Mormons.

This Sunday the bishop has "asked" all auxiliaries to present an rather lengthy overview of their planned activities for the year, as well as an over-inflated budget number. It is no surprise that everyone seems to have graduated from an MBA program, what with PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets ready to hand out to the members of the council (think of all the dead trees!). The sheet from the Relief Society president catches your eye because it contains pictures of scantily clad men and some very big . . . numbers. When it is his turn, she explains that plans are underway to take the women of the ward to Las Vegas to see "The Thunder From Down Under."  Because of the distance, they plan to fly there, and they also need extra gambling money, at $500 per day per participant. In round figures, the activity calls for about $300,000 to cover expenses for 30 women, or around $10,000 per head.

The Relief Society president assures the council that plans are well underway to raise all the money privately, and besides, if you criticize their decision, you're a patriarchal sexist enforcing codes of Victorian/Puritan morality on women who just want to have a good time. You have a regularly scheduled PPI with the bishop immediately after church today that you were planning on skipping so you could go fishing. Will you decide to go anyway and say something about the planned RS activity? Why or why not? If your answer is yes, what will you say?  And if you do, are you a misogynist pig with retrograde notions of female sexuality?