Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have been trying to think of a proper response to Robert Jeffress, pastor of the large and affluent First Baptist Church of Dallas, calling me a member of a “cult,” and the only thing I can come up with is that there isn’t one.
In regards to religion, many people are going to say and believe who and what they want, and, to some extent at least, there isn’t a thing anyone else can do about it.
This is especially true in a debate consisting of sound bites from various press conferences, or in an online situation, so I am proud of the response of the LDS church, which was simply to direct people with questions about the LDS faith to Mormon.org.
Disregard people claiming that Pastor Jeffress spoke out of ignorance, he knew exactly what he was doing, he used the exact words he wanted to use, and he got exactly the effect, and the attention, that he wanted. The members of his congregation, for the most part, are going to believe what he says, as they have, for whatever reason, accepted him as a man of God.
Even though I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I had never heard of Pastor Jeffress before this incident, but I imagine he does a lot of good in the world, but calling me, Mitt Romney (who I absolutely will not support in the Republican primaries … but, like Jeffress, I certainly will against Obama if it comes to that), and millions of other LDS church members worldwide “cult” members is not good, at all.
The thing to do is not get angry about it, not react negatively to him, and pray he somehow finds and embraces the truth.
That may sound just a tiny bit hypocritical coming from me with the way I tee off on people about their political views and their lax culture standards. I accept that. However, I absolutely separate the two areas of religion and politics when it comes to attacking someone’s beliefs.
In other words, I will slam a liberal, progressive Marxist or a lazy, TV-watching, entitled American citizen all day, but I feel that I have to basically ignore this particular Baptist preacher, even though they are all equally wrong and all equally destructive to men’s souls.
(I will slam a fake religious politician, like Barry Soetoro, because politicians aren’t real people, and I do not believe for one second that this president is any kind of Christian. At best, he is an atheist, which does not automatically mean he is a bad person, but he is a liar, and a compulsive one, and that does.).
The thing is, to me, I know the Gospel truth. I know it and I can’t deny it. For me to react with the venom I reserve for other parts of life will only serve to push people away from the Gospel message I would like to someday bring to them.
With politics, I know the truth as well. It, again, is undeniable. The difference is this; in reality, I could care less if I “convert” anyone to conservatism. I don’t mind at all if I shame someone into mentally stepping away from our disgusting, narcissistic culture and thinking about something other than name brands and network TV for a while, but in the end I really don’t care if anyone listens to me or not. I feel compelled to write, so I write.
In the eternal perspective, politics don’t matter. Now, culture does, to some extent, because of the additional bad choices available, in large part, due to a corrupt and immoral media, but you can’t live people’s lives for them. Their mistakes are their own, all you can really do is attempt to guide people towards the light, and away from the dark mists of evil. I will say I would love for someone, someday to make a small positive change in their lifestyle because of something I say, but I am not actively seeking approval, and if that happens, I don’t care if I know about it in this life or the next.
In my head, I fight certain battles every day. I wonder if I am too hard on people in general, or if it is affecting me spiritually and mentally to be obsessed with politics and culture like I am. I haven’t really resolved these issues, but I find solace in the fact that I do treat the people I know the same, regardless of political leanings. (Remember, politicians are NOT real people.) I have a lot of liberal wacko friends, and most of them just roll their eyes at me when I take a shot at them.
I say all of that to explain why I will not go after people like this man who spread misinformation about my faith, but I will jump all over Barack Obama and the liberals who are tearing down this country. Reactions are what Pastor Jeffress wants. By attacking him, you unify his followers to his defense, thus making him more powerful and able to reach more people with his misguided message. Reacting angrily, or with name calling, as presidential candidate Jon Huntsman did, only closes doors on what is the only important thing in the entire universe, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When I break all of this down, the funniest thing is that I have a bigger problem with Pastor Jeffress being so ignorant of politics that he would go out and endorse a big government liberal like Rick Perry, than I do with him making unfortunate statements about my faith.
This is the important thing; we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, all need to remember Pastor Jeffress and the way he made us feel with what he said, because this is nothing compared to what’s coming in the future.
Consider this practice in keeping your chin up, and a smile on your face. Be content in the sure Gospel knowledge that you have in your heart, because the public attacks on our faith haven’t even started yet. We have to remember to be good examples to our children in this area, they are facing trials and tribulations that we can’t even fathom. The adversary grows stronger every day, so we must do the same.Below is a video of Communist News Network’s (CNN) Anderson Cooper, a notorious liberal shill, confronting Pastor Jeffress. It is kind of funny to see the man put on the spot like he was, however, we must keep in mind that we should be on the same side, and Cooper is drooling because he has a chance to get shots in on the “religious right.”
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10:16