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In his pretentious blog post “QUIT ACTING LIKE CHRIST WAS ACCEPTING OF EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING” (yes, all in CAPS), self-appointed prophet, Greg Trimble, lectures his readers about the personality of Jesus, opting for a bit more calloused version of the Lord than what many Americans think.

Greg Trimble: Too many people are neglecting what is in the scriptures and trying to “customize Christ,” You can’t do that…seriously.

At the outset, Greg leads off the first inning swinging the assumed bat of the LDS Church being the “one and only true Church,” and begins chastising everyone in the world who has a differing opinion…and presumably he’s acting as the spokesperson for the religion without having been granted the authority of the Church to do so. The underlying, condescension is this: “You can’t go around inventing a version a Jesus that suits your own needs.” Even though that is exactly what Joseph Smith did. As usual, the more spiritually informed LDS blogger intends to tell the world how we’ve all got our heads up our asses.

Too often we read a few scriptures that make us feel good and then omit everything else that we know about Jesus that might make us feel bad. Some have bowed down to modern trends and allowed themselves to be manipulated by the media and false teachers. Too many people are looking for a religion that is easy. In the world, we are offered instant salvation and taught about a Christ that accepts everyone just the way they are. There is no difference between our day and Isaiah’s time when the people asked him to “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things” (Isaiah 30:10).

Greg is using a common fear tactic. LDS faith = Hard & True…all other faiths = Easy & False. One need only look closely into LDS history to understand how they’ve gone out of their way to not only make the religion more appealing, but to strike out parts of it’s past (such as Blacks & the priesthood, and death oaths and gruesome penalties in the temple ceremony) to help make it align closer to Christianity. Mormonism as taught by JS & BY is drastically different than what is being taught today. The pre-1990 temple ceremony featured a Christian Pastor in league with the Devil. Mormons love Christians, ya, right.

Instead of looking for a Church that teaches truth, many are on a quest to find a church that can satisfy their innate desire to worship God, and yet at the same time, live the lifestyle that they want to live regardless of how ungodly it really is. Some consider it a great feat to find a church that allows them to live how they want to live, and still feel like they are worshipping God.

Once again, Greg makes an insulting comment about the fact that honest seekers are not interested in truth, they are only eager to find a religion that makes them feel good and allows them to live the lifestyle they want. Where this argument fails, is that people who want to live a lifestyle that doesn’t align with religion (such as polygamy or homosexuality) don’t go running to a church to get approval. Sensible people understand that running to a religion to justify your actions is a low percentage move, possibly leading to despair. Luckily, the trend in society is toward abandoning religion entirely, since it has little to do with ones “innate desire to worship God,” in favor of a personal relationship with deity, which requires less fuss with the precepts of men. In what world do people living an “ungodly” lifestyle run to religion to help validate their choices? Normally, it’s the other way around: people tend to seek out religion because they feel guilty, hoping to find solace and forgiveness; not acceptance.

I don’t care whether you’re Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, or any other type of Christian…

Don’t kid yourself, G.T. DEEPLY cares what your religion is. Notice how slyly he lumps Mormonism in with Christianity; which we all know it is not a part of.

 …one thing is for certain. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a ‘buffet’ that you can compile your perfect plate from. There is no salvation in building your own religion or customizing Christ to suit your needs and wants.

Hmmm…again, this is exactly what Joseph Smith did.

The popular trend is to determine how you’d like to live your life and then to conform Christ to that lifestyle. It is done by appealing to Christ’s infinite love and mercy. But you can’t just go around rehearsing that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8) and then be done with it. John 3:16 is awesome…but it’s just one verse! God wouldn’t have given you all those other verses if he didn’t want you to read them and apply them. The “customize Christ” movement is in full swing.

If this is a popular trend, why does he not supply data to back-up his claims? He’s quick to sight verses, but slow to show that his premise(s) have merit. Greg now begins to do the opposite of what he’s claiming to do. He quickly dismisses the two verses above to begin his attack. Are the two verses really “awesome” to you Greg? Or are you simply pandering because of your lack of knowing what valid Christian religions teach?

At the base of this movement is the feeling that Christ was so loving and accepting of everyone; that He would never stand for any kind of exclusion or discrimination. This could not be farther from the truth. Yes… it is true that Christ loves everyone and yes, it is true that we should practice the doctrine of inclusion, but Christ was far from accepting behaviors that were not in accordance with the commandments.

Double-talk. “could not be farther from the truth” yet, he “loves everyone.” We should always be skeptical of people who attempt to justify a false concept, by prefacing it with a good one: “we should practice the doctrine of inclusion” BUT “Christ was far from accepting.” Who has ever made a claim that either Jesus or the Bible was accepting of behaviors which ran contrary to the commandments? The issue at hand is not one of “Accepting Behaviors,” rather one of “Empathizing and not passing Judgment.”

He didn’t come to this earth and just “accept people” and let them act however they wanted to act.

Yes, he did, it’s called “free agency” in Mormondom.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” he said in Matthew 10 verse 34. He continues, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

My take on Matthew 10 has always been that the convert would see persecution from his loved ones; not that the converted should attempt to divide his/her loved ones.

In another place in the New Testament He even says, “I never knew you” as he spoke about people that were unwilling to repent and live the commandments.

This is a judgment left up to Jesus, not his followers.

How and why will “a man’s foes be they of his own household?” Because Christ asks you to take a stand. He asks you which side of the line you’re going to be on…and you prove which side you are on by “keeping the faith.”

Wrong. As I explained above, persecution of the converted. The follower should not cause the division.

Everyone and everything is not “ok” or “accepted” by Jesus Christ. All are loved by Him, but our behaviors have the power to leave us standing at a door in which He will not open. Does that sound all-inclusive?

Earlier G.T. said “[I]t is true that we should practice the doctrine of inclusion.”

If Christ were walking the earth today preaching the same things He was preaching back in His day, people would be flying off the handle. He’d teach hard things. Draw a line in the sand. Tell people He loves them. Ask them to repent. Maybe even get mad and turn over some tables. (Matt 21:12-13) Then they’d call Him a bigot. Self-righteous. Un-accepting of others and their way of life. They would “go away” and start their own form of religion like so many of them did while he was preaching in Israel. The question you must ask yourself is the same question He asked His apostles. “Will ye also go away”? (John 6:67)

Hyperbole & Straw-Man argument. The assumption is that the average Mormon, or its leadership, has the right to act in behalf of Christ in every circumstance. If Jesus Christ really exists, one would hardly try to argue with him about his judgments. I mean, he’s God, right? One could see his judgments passed fairly upon a murderer, or a thief. But one could NOT see fair judgments being passed on nature, nor its offspring. Somehow, it seems like G.T.’s idea of Christ is more militant than the ‘few’ verses he presents; he couldn’t wait to bless us with “maybe even get mad and turn over some tables” as his panacea for gayness. Yes, Greg is the guilty party for giving higher priority to a select group of verses, while ignoring the vast amount of words of peace, love, and comfort.

People get mad at the LDS Church, its leaders, and Mormons across the world for trying to defend some of the basic commandments. I am amazed at the sort of heat the LDS Church gets for its stance on homosexuality. Christians inside and outside of the Church label Mormon doctrine as old and outdated, and in the same breath say that Mormons don’t believe in the Bible. Nothing in the Book of Mormon says anything about homosexuality. But guess where it is visibly forbidden? Paul tells the Romans, in the Bible, that “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26-27) In the Old Testament homosexuality was one of the primary reasons for the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah. And again, Paul states that it is a man that should be with the woman “in the Lord” (1 Cor 11:11). That was Biblical doctrine before it was ever something that needed to be addressed by the modern Church. Consider the woman taken in adultery in John 8. The Savior did not condemn her… but he also didn’t condone what she did. He loved her and He forgave her, but He also meant what He said when He told her to “go and sin no more.” The forgiveness of Christ should not be misinterpreted for acceptance.

The deluded piety here is laughable. The Doctrine and Covenants states: “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” While attempting to justify his own bigotry, as well as the LDS leadership, G.T. forgets that it is only Jesus who should judge, and that the rest of us should not pass judgment or be unforgiving; we should in fact forgive everyone.

Mormons aren’t trying to be exclusive or discriminatory toward anyone. If they are…then they are not living their religion. Elder Quentin L. Cook stated, “As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle because of their feelings about their own gender.”

Here’s something I agree with G.T. on: They are not living their religion by being exclusionary, discriminatory, and judgmental toward not only those they perceive as being sinful, but those without sin; as in the case of children being denied baptism.

We should be “loving and compassionate” but we should never allow ourselves to believe that Christ just accepts us how we are. That was never in the program. He’s always asked us to change, to repent, to get better, and to overcome the things that we struggle with. When we quit trying to align our wills with God and start trying to get God to align His will with ours…that is when we start to lose our way.

What part of this new policy should we think of as being “loving and compassionate?”

Many people are taking the equality and fairness argument to the extreme, assuming that Jesus is accepting of everyone and everything. It’s just not true according to the scriptures.

…and he gets the prize for saving the dumbest statement for the end: “Many people are taking the equality and fairness argument to the extreme.” We should ALL push hard for equality and fairness in an unjust society. We cannot allow religions to bully us about while wielding the invisible sword of ‘religious liberty.’

Let’s leave the business of judging to Jesus and not Greg, The Mormons, or any of their ilk. I for one welcome the teachings of Jesus with open arms & a skeptical eye…just as it should be.