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>religous "Blending"

by Tony Creech on Monday, December 8, 2008

>

If you want to blend in, in any church or cult, be it a Lutheran supper or Wednesday muffins at Heaven’s Gate Cult or a typical Jehovah Witness lock-in, you can very simply, when the meal/service/kool-aid time is over, start putting away chairs.  When they see you put chairs away they know you are one of them, and not just one of them, but a solid ‘top-notch’ believer.  This key might save your life someday.


I used it at a Morman christmas supper yesterday night and I had folks (yes, it was a woman in a classic ugly mormon moo-moo-ish dress..that was light blue denim)  chatting with me at length, and, when mentioning a brother of hers, she used the insider phrase ‘he’s not a member’ to differentiate him from one of “us.”  Even a dread-headed model like me who didn’t close his eyes or fold his arms during their prayers can fit in and be assumed a mormon.   See….. I told you. Cleaning up, especially in the chair-putting-away department is key. You could become a bishop.  


All you need is a religion and a meeting involving chairs.


Note on Praying, if you keep your eyes on the religious leader until everyone closes their eyes -you’re safe. No need to fold arms or use whatever posture they choose to get their heavenly reception tuned in right.  So, unless you take a posture of “what do I do” like you look around at everyone when someone says ‘let us pray’ or ‘lets bow our heads’ or ‘it’s carpet time’,  prayer requires no effort because they can’t see you.


Muslims are harder to fit in with because of certain religious fashions (the Sikh too), and because depending on the muslim praying fashion or sect, they could have their eyes open. But you’ll likely never need or want to “fit in” with them so, no worries.


For catholic masses, or any “pew” situation, of course the chair trick is useless, so one must take things up a notch to be left alone. The key there is to wear a suit (white shirt should be choice, as some sects use them religiously [pun intended]…unless its a black church, but white can pass their too, but no ‘top-notch’ rewards) and you must shake peoples hands and smile and carry a large ‘scripture-esque’ book with you, and you’ll be assumed to be on the “in”.  If you want people to think you’re top-notch, then say something like “you’re a blessing” to the pastor/preist/speaker/talk-giver/juice-pourer dude, and everyone will think you are a top-notch slinger in that religion. Babes will follow. And remember, you are always “visiting here from canada/california/put-interesting-place-here”.  I once had a leather journal of mine mistaken for a bible (which is funny, cuz it doesn’t look like any bible-leather cover I’ve ever seen, but hey, points are points)


The christmas supper was the first Morman thing I’ve really done in a long while in terms of the psuedo-christian cult social circuit.  My dad and step-mum and my baby sis went, so I had addition introductions and people would say things indicating they knew all about me like “enjoying the warm weather for a change?” and I’d think “how do they know I’ve been living in canada….?” so… I guess my dad shares more about me than I ever imagined.  I got invited by a mom or two to their “firesides” or “singles social events” … They must’ve been convinced by my chair moving that I was a mormonite … They’ll be sad when I never show up on a Sunday…although I bet they have daughters who would be awesome sacrifices for the Creech volcano.  Maybe I should go to a mormon singles event…..um….nahhhhhhhh. I’d rather hit myself in the face with a tack-hammer…  …unless I’m bored one night.


Good thing I rarely get bored.

Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at thecreechleague.com
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  • Bot
    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

    >Mormons Are New Testament Christians, not Creedal Christians

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity’s theology relating to baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    Baptism:

    Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.

    The Trinity:

    A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration? The Nicene Creed’s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: “There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one.” Scribes later added “the Father, the Word and the Spirit,” and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. . Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.” The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

    Theosis

    Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, “The Son of God became man, that we might become God.” Irenaeus wrote in the late 2nd Century: “we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods” Justin Martyr in mid 2nd Century said: “all men are deemed worthy of becoming ‘gods,’ and of having power to become sons of the Highest” Clement of Alexandria explained “Saints . . pure in heart . . are destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Savior.” The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: “He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him,” (Gospel of Thomas 50, 28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988) For further information on this subject, refer to http://NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) agrees with Early Christian church leaders regarding theosis.

    In the words of Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie: “There is and can only be one who is supreme, who is the head and to who all others are subject”. Becoming like God is not saying we will ever be equal to Him, frankly we won’t and can’t. He, and only He, will forever be worshipped by us.

    The Deity of Jesus Christ

    Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists (28 percent of Episcopalians) agreed that Jesus was “without sin”, 70 percent of Mormons believe Jesus was sinless.

    The Cross and Christ’s Atonement:

    The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming. Furthermore, members of the church believe the major part of Christ’s atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as Christ took upon him the sins of all mankind.

    Definition of “Christian”: .

    But Mormons don’t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer. It’s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. . Early Christians had certain rituals which defined a Christian , which members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue today. . If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology, they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.

    • The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church:

    The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this: “There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.) Martin Luther had similar thoughts: “Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,…unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation.” He also wrote: “I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it.” The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .* * *

    • Christ-Like Lives:

    The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):

    1. Attend Religious Services weekly
    2. Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life – extremely important
    3. Believes in life after death
    4. Does NOT believe in psychics or fortune-tellers
    5. Has taught religious education classes
    6. Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline
    7. Sabbath Observance
    8. Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith
    9. Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily
    10. Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen (very supportive)
    11. Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality

    . LDS . Evangelical
    1. 71% . . 55%
    2. 52 . . . 28
    3. 76 . . . 62
    4. 100 . . 95
    5. 42 . . . 28
    6. 68 . . . 22
    7. 67 . . . 40
    8. 72 . . . 56
    9. 50 . . . 19
    10 65 . . . 26
    11 84 . . . 35

    So what do you think the motivation is for the Evangelical preachers to denigrate the Mormon Church? You would think Evangelical preachers would be emulating Mormon practices (a creed to believe, a place to belong, a calling to live out, and a hope to hold onto) which were noted by Methodist Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean of the Princeton Theological Seminary, as causing Mormon teenagers to “top the charts” in Christian characteristics. It seems obvious pastors shouldn’t be denigrating a church based on First Century Christianity, with high efficacy. The only plausible reason to denigrate Mormons is for Evangelical pastors to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

    Further Reading: http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/

  • Tony C r e e c h
    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:25 am

    >Good to know you can cut and paste.
    hahaha

    so much of this stuff is a huge joke to the REAL world, the academic world.

    (mormonism is a joke to the world of Religious Studies, Archeology, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and on)

    I think the funniest part (besides thinking you can simply post an opposite view as the evidence for the view itself, and of course thinking you can diss trinitarian theology) – the funniest part is the HILARIOUS “stats” on LIVING CHRIST LIKE LVES!
    hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa

    oh man,
    Jesus couldn’t even BE a mormon (beside all the screwed-up theology, the furthest thing from New Testament theology) because he DRANK ALCOHOL.

    a hilarious religion with no history that still uses the King James Version, and couldn’t have a clue about Biblical Studies, The Greek and Hebrew Texts, and on and on and on, should never challenge the “christ-like-ness of “attending church regularly” with the REAL deal historic Christianity,

    i literally have volumes and volumes to say, and
    i know its not worth my time, since mormons don’t seek “truth” and i’ve had countless missionaries and even 3 stake presidents admit to me that mormonism is NOT christianity and does NOT believe in the Bible’s teaching (the BIBLE teaching, pre-existence, only ONE god existing, the Trinity, and on and on)
    I’ve seen them crying and still not leaving the mormon tree because their families and lives and blah blah blah.

    i know i’m being soooo rude in this post/comment,
    but i’m kinda tired of it all, especially since Galations clearly talks about what will happen to those who change the Gospel, and man have the LDS gone crazy.

    yet, LDS theology (if you can call it that) is extremely contradicting, since it stems off a choose-your-own christianity by Smith who was trying to deal with the Science of his day by envisioning an eternal universe or matter. so you have bit and pieces of Christian talk, and a lot of little devotionals given by mormons that are actually contradictory of the unified (can it be unified?) Mormon worldview. The big questions, the most simple questions like “what does the word God mean to mormonism” will invoke responses like “almighty” and “eternal”, for example, but then you ask them about the whole “god becoming God” thing, and the many worlds and many Gods and the next thing you know you realize that they don’t think about what they believe, since if you have two “almighty” beings, they are NOT almighty- neither one holding all of the “might”, they have to SHARE power, so neither could be all powerful.
    logic 101.

    a beautiful truth, is that mormonism is all Public Relations, and have changed much over the years, stemming from a religious/political group whose leader “Smith” if i remember right was killed after trying to, with his followers, take over a whole town (you can search for such info in HISTORY books not written by the LDS church, or Associated Press articles.
    The POINT- they (LDS) are CONSTANTLY CHANGING their views on stuff, from marriage to African Americans (in my mormon childhood i was taught that “those who fought on the side of satan” in some hilarious “pre-existence war” were born BLACK, while those pre-existent children of God who fought most valiantly for the Lord, were born into white, mormon families, ensuring their healthy church life. but that’s changed, and who knows? with all the pressure to be accepted by america, and with leaders like Mitt R. who publicly said he DIDN”T believe key elements of Mormonism, but no one batts an eyes, maybe one day they will be fully-changed, and have dropped all the heresy that they so pervasively exude.

    That’s what happend to another cult, that was once “the World Wide Church of Christ”,
    so, with mormons drinking coke and arguing with me about how in my own life time things have changed A LOT. I’ll bet they’ll be clapping thier hands in services yet.
    they already watch veggie tales and want to be called Christians.

    in the past they wouldn’t want to be thought of as in the realm of denominational Christianty, and today they talk as if they agreed with Historic Christianity, and they pretend it is US who “attacked ” THEM by calling them non-christians, when the very foundation of their hilarious cult, was that “there was no true church on earth” so God re-established it through smith. It started by saying that all christianity was NOT christian, and Apostate.
    well, ummm , i think they forget (at least the young mormons who are running in the stream of new mormonism that listens to christian music and thinks that they are simply “Christian-Plus”
    members of the kingdom of God.
    hhahahahahahaha
    have they not read the teachings of JESUS?

    in the eyes of Christianty and Biblical Scholarship, Mormanism is identical to Islam.

    it’s american islam.

    (why am i writing so much in a comment? haha i’ll add this short note)

    some guy wants all theological control, claims to be a prophet of God.
    Muhammad and Smith
    they attempt to be prophets of the Lord
    they get rejected by Israel and Christianity,
    flee and find political power
    Muhammad to Mecca, Smith to ..death, and his followers to Salt Lake, where they take the seasonal migration of seagulls to the salt lake to eat grasshoppers to be a miracle.
    they build temples and run works-based religions that are dependent on the “new” revelation of God, and claim the Bible to be corrupt somehow, so they can ignore the parts that dissagree.
    The Koran, and the Book of Morman etc.
    muslims say “muhammed is the prophet”
    and Mormans say “i belvie this church is the true church and -sometimes they “testify” to joeseph smiths prophet-hood, and sometimes they reference the ‘living’ prophet.

    news for both, real christians are a COMMUNITY OF PROPHETS!!! hahah, sweet.

    too bad over most of the 5,000+ manuscripts of the Greek new Testament and thousands more of earlier translations into coptic and dozens of others lingua are from BEFORE the time Muhammed was alive (he claimed the Bible to be scripture, but today his followers use the morman “it’s corrupt” route, and talk of it being “translated many times” which is morman for “i’m an ignorant of how the Bible comes to us, of the science of Texual Criticism, and of Biblical Scholarship” -(most scholarship on teh Bible is performed mostly by atheists by the way)

    i was mormon as a child and a lot of my family is still mormon, and i’d LOVE for it to magically be true. but i took an honest vow to seek truth, wether it led me to Mecca or Mormonism, and i ended up getting saved and am a real Jew, a true disciple of Jesus Christ, Saved by GRACE, and not by works.

    PS i like the quote from Bruce R. McConkie that DIRECTLY goes against the teachings of Joseph smith who said that that God was once a human and that man himself can progress to become a god, and we can too!
    they think having a “living prophet” means the old prophets can be wrong about tons of stuff, and call it “New Revelation” like the new revelation about blacks being good that came around the time of something america calls the Civil Rights Movement,
    funny how God sounds soo much like culture.

    as a fun exercise, read the mormon “articles of faith”
    especially number 2 ” We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” or something like that,

    then read ROMANS chapter 5, here are a few bites:
    “2Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…

    …Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come…
    … For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

    18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

    wasn’t that fun?

  • Barclee Hugg"able"
    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    >your comment should be a blog post in itself. i enjoy reading about your thoughts tony. i miss you.

  • Swynn
    Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 12:12 am

    >Hey but maybe I wanna be a Muslim? ever think of that? So how do I fit in? I don’t speak their language but I’m sure I can find one of them black things the ladies wear, I wish I could remember what it’s called…

    And I totally think you should go to the single social and use your “Tony charm” and maybe convert a few “honey’s” eh? eh? how about it? Maybe it’ll actually work. lol!!!

    p.s. I hope I get a long ass reply like you gave Bot because Islam is the SHIAT!

  • maria eileen
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 9:12 am

    >Oh Shit! The Creech Volcano!

    I’m taken that.

  • Mr. Lloyd
    Monday, December 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    >Hilarious Bot….it’s like you don’t know the great fire that burns in the heart of the Creech volcano. I mean I love learning ’bout ‘da church’ from Mormons, since having two RMs as brothers, a father, best friends, roommates, 99% of the university…hilarious. I love learning bout the planet that god lives on, maybe the hubble will get us a pic soon. I had a couple of boys sent by the apartment the other day… I said “hello elders”, had a short conversation with them about where they were from, and people we all knew…kinda took them off guard. They wanted to talk and stuff, but I told them it was getting dark and they’d better get home soon. They gave me their number, and I said I’d call them if we were going go move so they could help… I have more fun listening to Mormons tell me hilarious ‘facts’ supported by hilarious ‘articles in the Ensign’ than almost anything else. If any wants a pdf of the Mormon Temple Rituals just email me.

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