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And for members like me, who are interested intellectually not just in history, but theology and practice, if I have to ignore that to stay, what an awful choice. Thank you, Grover, for these thoughts. Leslie Knope is a fantastic exemplar for a model of faith. I think Pres.

The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith

You know, what a great thing it is if we understand what faith is. What is faith? How does it work? Do you have total faith? When we come to a full and total understanding of faith, then I think we ought to move on to repentance. When we understand that totally, then we should move through the principles. But I doubt we will ever really get through an understanding and complete knowledge of faith in a lifetime. The gospel is so simple that a fool will not err therein, but it is so beautiful and so sophisticated that I believe the great intellectual can make a study of faith and never come to an end of understanding.

Church leaders must speak to everyone. Most people want answers to there questions and are not interested in or are not capable of nuanced thinking. Maybe church leaders should challenge people to think like this but they also have to meet people where there at. The problem with the Leslie Knope approach is that it too often leads to ark steadying and members dividing themselves into factions. As someone who was raised Catholic I know how deadly that can be. Join my new church.

A cynic would be too pessimistic to hope that God would speak to anyone anymore and not put any effort into it. A blind faith-er will believe them and join their church with no questions asked. A skeptic will study out the religion, and compare it against what they know to be true. A skeptic will see what the fruits of the religion are.

Problems in Thessalonica

Which one do you think Jesus wants you to be? If you find skeptic to be a loaded word, unload it. Very well stated. Thank you for completely defanging the black and white approach to faith and doubt that we seem to be wrestling with in the church.


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As long as people particularly leaders grip onto the idea that true faith practice can only lead to one specific solution, then we are going to keep tripping over ourselves. Are we unable to trust that God is actually in control? Because our actions say something very different. The irony is that some who claim to be closest to God seem to struggle the most with that trust. The Hugh B.

Brown quote is from That settled the matter for me. Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland.

He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but unlike the agnostic of to-day free also to believe in them. Chesterton, from Orthodoxy. I think Unamuno described well what you meant, though his definition is not at all obvious in current common usage and is in fact contrary to a number of current dictionaries. I anticipate the chart and the concept of a spectrum will quite helpful. I would add that this is not just skepticism, but constructive skepticism.

As others have said, in secular usage, skeptics tend not to believe in faith concepts. What it means is that the church should be content with Being small. But filled with members who are passionate and committed rather large and filled with the doubtful and the cynical. As for being dismissive so I guess those of my generation have no responsibility to get over there own prejudices and ideological biases?

I would argree that the church has an obligation to be honest and transparent about things but its members especially those of my generation have the same obligation to not become resentful and to not develop an entitlement mentality. The problem is when, instead, people imply that doing so is somehow being tempted by Satan. This post is examining this idea that is rhetorically coming across from leaders: Stop looking, stop questioning. It is generous to both and it points out the possible dangers of such rhetoric. Your comment at pm is way out of line with what is going on in this discussion.

That is how I see it. Thus, I anticipate that I will always be in flux, constantly questioning, constantly challenging, and also constantly coming to conclusion that lead to action, movement, determination, and hope. Like, for example, this idea that people who leave over historical issues must not have researched enough, because there are faithful historians. If you really want to encourage genuine questioning, you have to accept that people might arrive at different answers.

Why Our Bodies Matter To Our Faith / Matthew Lee Anderson

Currently I hear from the church that questions are encouraged, but only if they reach a particular conclusion. I was under the influence of the alt right for years did not fully get over it until trump started running for President. I know how deception works and how easy it is to be deceived especially when it comes from a place of hurt and doubt. So I think I am qualified to say that the first thing my generation needs to do is to get over there emotional responses to these things.

In my experience, maturity in the gospel plays a big role, where spiritual experiences plus questioning and new insights gets you to a place where your faith is strong, kind of the faithful questioning area.

Issue: Keeping Our Kids

I taught an African woman on my mission who quickly felt the spirit and was baptized within a couple of weeks. She never let us in the door again. I think both of the middle groups are for those that have some pretty strong cultural ties and spiritual experience in the church. Otherwise it seems like anything in the middle moves to the cynicism on the left side of the scale and a hasty exit out the door. Arrington was genuinely puzzled when his discussions about church history with a member he met on an airplane were dissolving her testimony and just stopped talking.

It case it might help the boat analogy was about the churchs flaws as an institution. Reading biographies of many prominent church folk has moved me away from blind faith and towards skepticism in the model above. If you in fact know that Jesus wants you to be a skeptic, fine. And that makes me skeptical about the assertion in your title. With a capital T. Your use of skeptic and skepticism in the OP is far more radical than I understood, but in line with the questions I actually spend time on.

But probably more radical than than many are reading into the OP, and probably more than Church leaders could accept, if properly understood. Great discussion. They are not afraid to question, but have questioned — and the answers caused them to lose faith or hope. Also, we need to remember that the sentiments of Hugh B. Brown were given at a time that many answers were being hidden — within and without the church. I doubt am cynical? Thank you , Grover and commenters for this!

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Most fear comes from experience. Often, the fear is quite justified based on the experience, too. Rexicon — yes! Fear can be learned. Some may be cynical out of fear, but that is merely one path to cynicism.


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  • The way it is presented, however, implies that all cynicism is fear-based. Accuracy sacrificed for symmetry.

    Jesus Wants Me for a Skeptic – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

    If they change, that does not entail your having been wrong in what you knew. I think one of the greatest ironies of Mormonism is that the Restoration was supposed to throw open the doors of revelation to new and greater light and knowledge, while many members and leaders take the attitude that we know all we need to know and can therefore stop asking questions and seeking for answers and truth.

    Along with this is the irony that we are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then are basically told all we have to do is follow the Brethren. What use is asking and have access to the truths of the heavens if we just sit on our laurels, believing we have all truth already and only need to follow the Brethren, without engaging in important moral deliberations seeking new and greater heights? My honest feelings lately…. Our assumptions of solidity in each area are how we build models of the world and relationships and choices.

    Expecting a literally fearless unhesitation to visit, reconfigure, and even entirely discard them could be compared to tearing down and rebuilding your house once a month for the sake of refining it. In this context, the possibility of divorce metaphorical or literal is always terrifying. It was all about asking questions and seeking answers.