Comments about ‘What's New: 'Engage in the Battle' gives engaging presentation to LDS youths’

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Published: Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

This reminds me of the Bible story where Jesus tells the zealots that he did not come to lead a military assault on the forces of evil (Rome, in his case). His message was one of transformation through love and ultimate vulnerability.

Our desire to conquer our enemies through force and violence seems so innate that even noted scholars like C.S. Lewis give us Jesus-like figures (the Lion) in this mold. What makes me particularly sad about this article is how we are indoctrinating children into this same mindset (i.e., the “war” on everything attitude so prevalent in our culture).

I can think of no better modern example of political conquest by emulating Christ than Gandhi, but as much as we admire people like him, deep down most seem to want the 2nd coming to look less like a Richard Attenborough film and more like a J.J. Abrams superhero blockbuster.

My guess is this has something to do with smiting… lots and lots of smiting.

byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

What Tyler D. overlooks is that the military analogy came from Jesus Christ himself: read Ephesians 10: 16, as well as several other scriptures.

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood" but invisible but real powers of evil in the world that are trying to pull all of us away into sin and darkness.

The reference to "smiting" is not only misleading but is a not-so-veiled shot at the Church.
I don't believe that has any place on these boards.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@byufootballrocks – “The reference to "smiting" is not only misleading but is a not-so-veiled shot at the Church. I don't believe that has any place on these boards.”

You took personal (or at least institutional) offense where none was intended… the point was larger than any one church. It was directed both at western religion’s conception of God (as depicted in their sacred books… lots of smiting there) and more broadly at human nature in general.

I think Jesus was something unique and if the world were to follow what most biblical scholars now believe he said (which is mostly the Sermon on the Mount type stuff), we would be much better off.

But instead most people seem to prefer the God of the OT (and BoM?) full of wrath, vengeance and yes, smiting.

Regarding your reference to Ephesians, you are confusing what Paul said with what Jesus said. The only thing Jesus said that seems to have any military allusions is when he spoke of “bringing a sword” but most scholars believe that reference has been widely misunderstood (i.e., it’s really about severing ties).

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

We have no shortage of gung-ho adults inciting impressionable youths of wide-eyed innocence to join the battle against wickedness and evil before those kids are old enough to make up their own minds on issues that more complicated than they could possibly imagine.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Engage in the Battle

Now just stop and think about that provocative title for a moment. Isn't that communicating the idea that those who disagree with you are your enemy? Is that the mindset to instill in the minds of innocence?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Why not just tell kids the truth and let them make decisions?

Preteens and teens deserve the truth?

What is the truth?

Truth is that we don't know. Just like Santa Clause. When asked about SC, I told him that some people believe there is a SC and some don't. This is something that he will need to look at and decide for himself.

When he asks me about God or Jesus, I tell him the truth. I don't know. I tell him about the wide and differing opinions in the world and that he will need to sort it out.

But, one thing I did tell him with conviction. Many many people have strong opinions about religion. They will tell you that they KNOW. The reality is that no one KNOWS.

Look at everything and make your best decisions.

Like it or not, THAT is the truth.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

I was struck by how the title of the CD and the artwork on the cover could easily serve as title and cover for one of those violent video games kids play.

Of course it's a parent's right to decide what to teach their children to believe. I respect that. But when kids grow up, they'll take their places in a world where they'll have to work with and get along with many different kinds of people. They'll be better prepared by having learned something more than conflict as the human condition.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Tyler D, western[Judeo Christian] religion’s conception of God as depicted in their sacred books… lots of smiting there) and more broadly at human nature.

The total depravity of man throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and the thoughts of his heart are “continually evil” (Genesis 6:5). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that because unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5), he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; John 8:34) so that he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because he loves the darkness (John 3:19) and does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. Because they are totally depraved, this sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12) so they reject the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18).

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