The church is perfect, people in it aren’t

This is a saying I heard a lot growing up. It was typically used to excuse leaders and their mistakes. As a believer I found comfort it in it too, I figured I wasn’t perfect and that is ok.

These days I see this meme crop up and I consider it from a new perspective. I realized that the first half of the statement is a subtle insinuation that I hadn’t ever questioned before. I still agree with the second half, every institution ever conceived of by man is full of imperfect people making their way through life as best they can. My reasons for leaving the church were not because it is filled with imperfect leaders that make mistakes. Its the first part of the saying I have issue with.

The assumption that the church is perfect is what I no longer believe. Why do we have this saying in the church to begin with? It’s because of a doctrine of infallibility when prophets speak as prophets. Sure when they are speaking as a man we can ignore them but if they are speaking as a Prophet, then it’s God’s words and we’d better obey. Of course there are times when we aren’t really sure, like the number of earrings we should have or if we should play poker or not. Those might be opinions or commandments so play it safe and just do what they say. This is infallibility it stated in another saying I heard a lot, ‘when the prophet speaks, the thinking is done.’ There is a problem with this idea that when the prophet speaks the thinking is done though. It means you have to stop thinking. Which is true because if you keep on thinking about it, you will soon see conflicts and things that don’t make sense.

For example:

We have assurances by prophets that people will never be led astray because God is at the head and guides the church the way he wants it to go. Yet from Brigham Young to Spencer Kimball black people couldn’t have the priesthood. They had it before and after, but not in the middle. Did God really want decent men to not have the priesthood? Is he racist? or did those prophets in the middle lead us astray?

Or first prophets taught that polygamy and polyandry was A-OK even a good thing for a nation. Yet we walked away from that doctrine so we could be a state in the union and not fight a war. God has been willing to go to war before, like when Israel took over cannon, so why not this time? Why do we look in disgust at prophets like Warren Jeffs spending time in jail for breaking the law and when we look at our founding prophet who spent time in jail for breaking the law and give him a free pass? Why is polygamy A-ok once you die, but not before then? That is what the church actually teaches and practices right now. Is that perfect?

Joseph Smith lied directly to 300 saints about his polygamy, this is well documented in the churches own history books. Was that because he was an imperfect man? Does it make sense that God would tell him to start this religion to marry other mens wives and then tell him to lie about it?

One could go on and one with examples like this. Either God is telling the leaders to behave dishonestly with their followers, or the church itself isn’t perfect. I never expected men and leaders of the church to be perfect. We all make mistakes. I did however expect them to not be conmen. I did expect them to respect truth and strive for it rather than hide it. I did expect them to come clean with troubling facts rather than create web search engines so members could avoid them.

Yeah they people in the church aren’t perfect. Neither are the people out of it. Maybe you need a scary being up in the sky putting the fear go god into you so you act like a decent person. Maybe you need a hope of eternal reward to keep you from being an evil degenerate in society. Maybe to make all that work you need to believe the church you go to is true and perfect, even if the people in it are not. Consider this. Maybe there there are people that do not need all the same beliefs you do to be good decent people. You might even recognize the fact that for them to be good and helpful without threat of damnation or hope of reward in the next life makes them even more altruistic than you.

Most people that I have met that lost their faith in what they believed didn’t do so because the people in the church weren’t perfect. They did because the figured out the first half of that saying was a lie. The church itself is not perfect.

Seven Steps to an Authentic Life.

 

1. Be honest, brutally so, fear of truth leads to fear of opinion, fear of opinion leads to submitting your desires to others demands.

 

2. Number 1 applies to yourself first and foremost, be honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid of your own thoughts even if you fear the consequences.

 

3. Realize people change, this includes you. That which you value now may not be what you valued then. It’s ok to experience change in your life, it’s called progress.

 

4. Direct your life the way you want it to go. You might make mistakes. You might screw up, that’s part of growth. Learn from them and move on.

 

5. Don’t fear a second, third or even fourth try. Just because you have been burned once doesn’t mean it will happen again. If you have a goal in mind take another shot from a slightly different direction.

 

6. Treasure authentic friends. They are the ones you can be yourself around the ones that appreciate the authentic you.

 

7. Being authentic means you don’t pretend to be something you are not, if you are sad you accept it, if you are happy you rejoice in it. You stop pretending and start being. You take credit for your failures and your successes. When you do that you take charge of your life and set the direction you want it to go.

hamster strength

The Beginning

I lost my religion, why? Because I studied it and it didn’t make rational sense. After losing that one I studied others, still none made any sense. Eventually I began to lean agonistic, even atheistic the more I tested and probed.

When it was all done there was a hole in my soul, that is if there ever were a soul. I yearned to fill it. Why, because like most people I want to believe there is more to life, I want to experience the spiritual moments that once confirmed my feelings of my place in the universe. Belief however is a finicky thing. Especially when you begin to understand basic human psychology and how it leads to things like confirmation bias, circular logic and synthetic happiness.

Once you take a journey like this, your mind like a ballon can never return to the size it once was, once your eyes have been opened you cannot go back.

Mankind has had mythologies throughout the ages, ideals that communities hold up and individuals strive for. Usually these ideals are based on ‘revealed’ truth. They are presented as beyond question to give them veracity in the world at large. Thus a myth becomes a religion.

The problem is religions unify groups, and to survive they need to be unique which means other groups must be wrong or lost or just ‘not as good.’ This leads to war.

This is my experiment, to see if a myth can be a know myth and still engender the good things religions do, to inspire, to teach morals, to help others. To do this without the bad things that seem to occur when religions mature.

In the Church of the Fridge, everyone’s voice counts, humor is paramount, and life is meant to be enjoyed not endured. We welcome all who care to hear and contribute.

The Fridge Vision History

As I lost my faith I decided to run an experiment, I’m an engineer in real life and an experiment even a seemingly silly one can teach you things in my humble opinion.

One day I shared what I had learned with others who had the same sense of humor as me.  We seemed to connect our experiences and feelings even though it was a sarcastically humors way.  Popularity ensured and one night after being asked to explain my epiphany once more the ‘Vision’ just poured out.

I think there will be those that just can’t take a joke, they will fear I am mocking god, yeah they may be right I supposed, but I think if there is a deity that loves us like a father he or even she ought to have a sense of humor given the state of revealed information left on the planet. So if you can’t stand it you don’t have to read it. Move on because it wasn’t meant for you for you have never truly questioned the veracity of your beliefs and realized how tenuous they really are. I’d wish you nothing but well in your travels. For the fridge giveth it’s gift to all that would listen and laugh.

 

 

The Book of Freon needs you

Every religion that lasts needs a book. They are they are often compiled from theories of one or more men or women, some with agendas some without.

The Book of Freon is crowd sourced, admittedly so, write what moves you, share what you feel makes the world a better place. See if others agree.

Comment and get 5 others to like your comment! For a religion, even a fake one needs followers. Get a few and get in the book!