Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Monday, September 14, 2015

We should not present immorality as a normal, expected deviation from the path

My greatest beef with some of the popularized teachers on the atonement is the way they minimize the consequences of immorality. Like ministers of other faiths, and that is effectively what they are, they give it lip service, but then sweep it all under the rug of divine grace.

It is weird that we all know of Christ telling people to go and sin no more, but that anyone thinks that our chant should be “Toying with and even falling prey to serious sin is a normal part of growing up, so don’t worry about it if you do, Christ paid the penalty for you.” Certainly it is true that he provides intercession for sin. And yes, it is also true that intercession covers the most egregious sins any of us are likely to ever commit. It is true that this needs to be taught. It is false that sins that are considered a breach of the covenant should be presented as the “expected route” like it is a side road along the strait and narrow path that most people find a little easier and end up taking, but they both go to the same place. There is no “you take the high road and I’ll take the low road” that leads to the tree of life and we should be clear about that. Yes, there is forgiveness. No we should not teach in a way that suggests that serious sin is a normal part of life. We don’t have to and definitely should not wait for something serious to happen to follow Christ’s example of teaching “go and sin no more”. We should definitely not teach members that repentance for serious sin is easy, or that the repentance required will not be a measure of suffering that vastly exceeds the measure of whatever fun they thought they mischievously stole through their misbehavior.

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