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JUST ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN

 

28 of 52  Trip Around The Sun - Emanuel Faith Community Church, with Leona

 

Sunday, November 10, 2002

 

Have traveled about 315,000,000 miles.

 

Thoughts during the week:

 

The lesson last week was on reverence. I thought it was about as good as I’ve ever heard on the “style” of reverence the lesson was about. Reverence, however, is not really about style. Quietness is not in itself reverence. I always like it when people sing out on certain songs that are powerful that way. The ones who aren’t singing appear irreverent to me. I used to ask the kids questions after church about the talks. We thought that the more they knew about what the meeting was about, the more they had been reverent. Even if the more noisy one had listened the best.

 

Saw this in the paper this morning:

 

Some laws are based upon “the best science available.”

At what point is a scientific law considered absolute and irrefutable?

 

a)     When it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

b)    Upon documented completion of the scientific method.

c)     Ten years after the death of the discoverer.

d)    Never.

 

Most of us know the answer is d) Never. This is a very good thing. It makes revision and change inevitable (repentance of a sort – for the sciences.)

 

But look at another question:

 

Some laws are based upon “the declarations of a Prophet.”

At what point is a religious law considered absolute and irrefutable?

 

a)     When it has been published by the prophet and declared to be truth.

b)    Upon documented completion of the testing of the method or idea.

c)     Ten years after the death of the Prophet.

d)    Never.

 

The answer is often decidedly a) When it has been published by the prophet and declared to be truth. This attitude makes revision and change (repentance) near impossible for the organization.

 

The answer still should still be d) Never. The false doctrine of, “The infallibility of the Prophet,” when speaking, “as a Prophet” is a doctrine that has caused much pain and suffering in the world. Change and improvement in doctrine is even more important than individual moral change, because it then results in moral change for millions of individuals. Much of that change must come from the bottom-up as well as from the top-down. All the brains in the Church should be used to full avail. If we wanted a dictator, we could have chosen the other plan.

 

 

Do you like to read Savant in the Parade magazine? She was asked:

 

“Why do some people claim to be psychic?”

 

She answered:

 

“Because they know so little science that they don’t know how ridiculous they look to others.”

 

Way to go, Marilyn!!

 

Others of them, (psychics) of course, know better, but make lots of money lying to people. (Have you seen the man on TV lately? – what a farce.)

 

 

The visit:

 

Second visit to Emanuel Faith Community Church (With Leona)

 

It seems to be getting to be a habit – that I’m going to different churches on special days – when their program is not the normal format. This time, The Emanuel Faith group wanted all the people to be able to meet together. They hired a huge tent to be put up – and still ended up having to have two meetings. They’re building a new complex in San Marcos – this meeting was in celebration of that – and to illicit support in the way of pledges.

 

They went all out. About a hundred piece choir (excellent – as some of our best stake outfits) and about a 20 piece orchestra (or band – mixed instrumentation.) This was also excellent.

 

The music was very moving and dynamic – some sung to us and some with us. The music director also spoke some – as one of the speakers for the day.

 

The new minister selected for the new San Marcos facility then spoke – told of his background growing up in a non-Christian but loving family. He blamed the non-Christian part of this for his many errors in life – alcohol, dope, sex, etc. Then he was saved – and he remembers the incident and was with the main minister of this church at the time. His parents also have become “Christians,” and life is much different now.

 

Leona and I were sitting next to another minister (of the past) who had come to Escondido and looked for a “church home.” This church was his second visit – and he stuck here – along with his wife. He told me that this was a “Bible-teaching” church - “Born Again Christians.” Usually when people use this phrase, Mormons are not included. Though we are baptized, we don’t generally have that “memory” of the specific time when it hit us – I think that’s the problem, as they see it. Sometimes they also dislike our view of the Savior as “Son” and not “Father.” We, of course, also view Him as a Father (of this world, etc.) – but they want the view to be of the only God.

 

The main minister’s talk was about giving to God - about consecration - etc. There had already been the normal collection with the passed baskets – this was a program to bring everyone to make larger pledges by the week, month, year – or cash amount. I think it was done tastefully – though those making pledges were visible – walking up to any of several couples holding receptacles. This was huge – the tent seemed almost big enough, if not for the supports, to play a football game. It wasn’t really that big – but seemed so. I thought it interesting that the minister said, “You may sign your pledge – or not sign it – it doesn’t matter.” The responsibility for one’s gift was pretty much put in their own hands.

 

He talked about a little boy who had come to an event at a campground with the church. The boy was from an orphanage in Tijuana. During this campout, the boy drowned in the lake. The minister talked of what a blessing it was to have brought this boy to Jesus – and know that “we would someday meet him in heaven,” rather than have the little guy burning in hell. (He didn’t use these last words – but they were meant.) You see, the boy was doubtless a Catholic boy – who would not have qualified without this special trip to the camp – where he was saved. What kind of God would care about such trivia? God loved that little boy – and always always will – and would love him with or without the campout experience. The little boy will also not have to become a Mormon.

 

After that main event – there was more wonderful music and congregational singing – and it was over. Lasted about an hour and a half.

 

I made this visit for two reasons. I wanted to take Leona to see this very successful group – and I wanted to know if the first visit was special for the group – or ordinary. Because of the unusual nature of this particular meeting, I’m not sure either goal was reached. They’re having a Christmas program five times in their own facility and once at the Center for the Arts downtown. We’re going to get tickets for one of the times in their own smaller facility. Again, this will not meet the above goals – but guaranteed, it will be an inspiring program.

 

There is no question that this group is very successful in putting on a good program. The people appear happy and enthusiastic almost universally. Kids and little ones seem happy. I thought only Mormons could do this so well. Still, I am dismayed by the doctrine – so cruel. I could never buy into that – no matter how pleasant the process. I’ve been trying to buy out of some of that – beliefs that God is cruel, etc. Don’t believe it. He did not kill babies way back then – and he’s not going to burn his loved ones in the hereafter either.

 

 

28 of 52  Trip Around The Sun - Emanuel Faith Community Church, with Leona

 

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