Judging Mormons? No, I’m Being Discerning

A 1893 engraving by Edward Stevenson of the An...

Joseph Smith receiving the golden plates and pink spectacles from the angel Moroni, an event that occurred only in Smith's distorted mind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My ongoing discussion with a commenter named Haley has pretty much played itself out, though it’s interesting to note that she now claims to NOT be a Mormon, after initially making herself sound like one.

A new voice, however, chimed in recently, a woman named Deila. In case you missed it, here’s what she said:

It seems you are judging not only Joseph Smith, but all Mormons. If I am correct, it is against the Bible to judge others; that is to be left to God. (Matt 7:1) Also, to ridicule another person’s belief and make fun of them, calling what may be sacred to them, such as “pink spectacles” and “magic underwear” is not a Christ-like characteristic. Do you also make fun of the Jewish kippah or the Pope’s hat, a Priest’s collar? I am fine with your religion and do not ridicule your beliefs, perhaps you could be more tolerant of Mormons and see that there are many good people of many faiths. I am perfectly fine with you calling me a Mormon and not a Christian, if it makes you happy. But our Christian beliefs are in line with the first century Christians. We believe Jesus Christ to be our savior. Perhaps it is better to look for more common good in people.

I always shake my head when people accuse me (or other Christians) of “judging” (particularly when they throw Christ in there, trying to use my own friend against me). Basically, this is an example of how people (usually liberals) have co-opted a word and misused it for the purpose of painting opponents in an unfavorable light. I’ll have a separate post on this topic soon, but for now I’ll just say that judging has been hijacked as a way to deflect criticism. So, for example, I’ll levy a valid criticism at someone, and instead of responding to my particular point(s), they’ll simply say I’m being judgmental (or bigoted, or narrow-minded, or homophobic).

But that’s not gonna fly with me. To be judgmental, particularly in a Biblical sense, is to make a premature, uninformed decision about something or someone—basically, to declare them guilty without reviewing all the evidence. My critique of Mormonism, however, wasn’t judgmental; it was discerning. Some people like to toss around Christ’s words on judging (in inappropriate fashion, of course), but they seem to never remember what the Bible says about discernment: namely, that we are to be “wise as serpents.” If I’m faced with an issue, or a question, it’s my responsibility—as a Christian but also as a person—to educate myself on all relevant points. I’ve done (and continue to do) just that with Mormonism over the last several years, studying its history, doctrines and practices (not to mention knowing a few Mormons), so I consider myself qualified to answer questions about Mormonism, particularly regarding how it relates to Christianity. This is using my God-given intellectual faculties to evaluate a situation; there is nothing judgmental about it. You may disagree with me—you may even dislike me—but that’s no excuse for being lazy, cowardly, or grammatically sloppy.

Secondly, I wasn’t ridiculing Mormons with my comments about magic underwear and pink spectacles, I was simply giving my honest opinion. Mormons believe that Joseph Smith used special eyeglasses to interpret writing allegedly found on gold plates, and they also believe that special undergarments protect them from evil … and I think these ideas are absurd: not only are they un-Biblical, they come from the mouth and mind of a man who was an attention-seeking fraud. Jesus routinely called out frauds of his time (such as the Pharisees), so there’s nothing un-Christlike about me calling out modern-day scam artists—especially those who claim, without proof, that the Bible is corrupt and that first-century Christians really didn’t profess what the Bible says they professed.

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Truth About ‘Tolerance’ and ‘Judgmental Homophobes’ « Jason Drexler Writes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: