People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

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ArcticFox
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People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

Ok so let's talk about it.

To me, this decision by Church leaders makes perfect sense.

Look, let's be real here. What possible reason could a gay couple have to want to have a kid they're raising baptized into a church whose doctrines are in direct opposition to their lifestyle? Baptism is a covenant. It's an agreement to follow Jesus Christ, to accept Him as your savior, and to live in accordance with His Word. Think a gay couple is going to agree to raise a kid along those lines, when their own relationship with each other is considered immoral by those very doctrines?

Of course not. Why would they? They obviously have their own ideas of morality and belief, and that's what they're going to want to teach to the kid. It's a conflict, and the Church is just formalizing a policy that avoids that conflict.

Once the kid turns 18, they can be out on their own and if they choose to be Baptized then at least now they're in a position to keep those covenants.

Again, I can't imagine why a gay couple would want that anyway... And then it hit me.

"Your honor, my clients John and Mike have been emotionally damaged by the homophobic lessons their child is receiving in Sunday school at the local Mormon church where they had him baptized. We ask that you award my clients $10,000,000 for emotional suffering, to be paid by the LDS Church."

Of course, the media is loving this, and loves the idea of a bunch of LDS members leaving the Church over an issue like this. It happens all the time. People would rather adhere to today's pop culture morality and turn their back on the Church for not skipping along behind them.

"We're leaving the Church because it isn't keeping up with shifting cultural mores so it's not good enough for us anymore."
And they call the Church leaders self-righteous.
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ccgr »

(moved to spiritual matter, heading to bed so I'll read the article tomorrow)

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by Deepfreeze32 »

ArcticFox wrote:"We're leaving the Church because it isn't keeping up with shifting cultural mores so it's not good enough for us anymore."
And they call the Church leaders self-righteous.
And you're...upset over these people leaving the church? It sounds like it wasn't right for them to begin with, if that's how they truly feel (Though I imagine it's probably a bit more complicated, very few issues exist as true black and white dichotomies), so you (And the rest of the LDS community) are probably better off without them.

Then again, maybe I'm being too callous since I don't have a dog in this particular fight (As I'm not LDS).

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

Deepfreeze32 wrote: And you're...upset over these people leaving the church?
No, not really upset, just disappointed. As far as I'm concerned they've made their choice, and I hope the door don't hit 'em on the backside on the way out. I know that isn't really a charitable attitude, but it is what it is. It's the same disappointment I feel when I see that rainbow flag in front of the Methodist church in Baltimore I mentioned in another post. It's people thinking the shifting sands of popular opinion constitute a stronger moral compass than the church they once professed a testimony of.
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ccgr »

Not sure on the minimum age of baptism in the LDS church but ours waits for the children to be old enough to understand the significance of it. None of my kids are baptized yet and my oldest is 11. They were all dedicated as babies/toddlers though. That was our promise to raise them with a Christian upbringing. The decision to become baptized and follow Christ is their decision to make.

As for people leaving, it's not uncommon actually. My uncle stopped attending our church because they refuse to support and conduct gay weddings.

On the other hand, there are numerous churches embracing that lifestyle so perhaps it's best they switch.

My take on the article is that I hope the kids being barred from baptism don't feel that they're being punished for a circumstance that they cannot help that they're in. Hopefully they understand the church's reasoning and follow through with their baptism and faith when they come of age. As for the people leaving, let them go.

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

ccgr wrote:Not sure on the minimum age of baptism in the LDS church but ours waits for the children to be old enough to understand the significance of it.
For us, it's 8 years old.
ccgr wrote: My take on the article is that I hope the kids being barred from baptism don't feel that they're being punished for a circumstance that they cannot help that they're in. Hopefully they understand the church's reasoning and follow through with their baptism and faith when they come of age.
I agree. I just fear that they're going to hear a very different spin on things from their "parents." Can't be helped I guess.
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ChickenSoup »

At what point does not conforming to mainstream church doctrine become conforming to mainstream culture?

"You're not conforming to the correct opinion"
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

When it isn't a matter of opinion. The Scriptures are pretty clear on this particular point. People can interpret it differently if they want, but let's not pretend cultural pressure isn't the motive on this one. Before all of this gay marriage business became a thing, they were perfectly comfortable where they were. It was the culture that changed, not God's Word.
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ChickenSoup »

Scriptural interpretation is always a matter of opinion at some level
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

Maybe, but not within the context of an organized Church where certain doctrinal interpretations are the baseline.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by amyjo88 »

I think it would probably be better for a church to make a more general policy about the parents beliefs and actions before dedicating/baptizing infants instead of singling out gays. What other parents are getting turned down? (In any church?) Our liturgy for both dedication and baptism include the parents confession of faith. Pastors need to be reviewing the liturgy and Christian beliefs with the parents before dedicating or baptizing any babies.

I am very concerned about how this will affect the kids. Are most infants baptized in LDS? What if a person joins when they are 12 and their parents don't? Do they also have to wait until they are 18 to be baptized? Infant Baptism is primarily a sign of God's grace to us. Can we withhold that?

What if we (the church universal) allow close relatives to dedicate/baptize infants whose parents are not believers? Isn't this allowed already?

I think people ought to spend more time working from within to change church policies before they just leave.

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by Sstavix »

amyjo88 wrote: I am very concerned about how this will affect the kids. Are most infants baptized in LDS?
Actually, no infants are baptized in the LDS church. A person is only baptized when they make a conscious decision to become a member of the church. According to the church leaders, the "age of accountability" is eight years old.
amyjo88 wrote:
What if a person joins when they are 12 and their parents don't?
Until this recent church policy, I don't think it was an issue. I know that my wife was baptized when she was 13, and neither of her parens were members at that time.
amyjo88 wrote: I think people ought to spend more time working from within to change church policies before they just leave.
But what about those churches who believe that church "policy" is actually based on the immutable Word of God? It's a little hard to argue with the Big Guy when He's said "This is what I will require of you." Some churches have already taken this stance with some issues, like gay marriage. That could actually be a big factor for those "church shoppers" trying to decide where to worship - is the church trying to adhere to God's word as it appears in the Bible? Or is the church evolving and adapting to reflect the needs and preferences of modern society?

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by amyjo88 »

Sstavix wrote:
Actually, no infants are baptized in the LDS church. A person is only baptized when they make a conscious decision to become a member of the church. According to the church leaders, the "age of accountability" is eight years old.
Sstavix wrote:
Until this recent church policy, I don't think it was an issue. I know that my wife was baptized when she was 13, and neither of her parens were members at that time.
So what I'm trying to get at is, are these children treated differently than children whose parents are also living in sin? What if the church doesn't even know the parents? Are they going to search them out? I noticed this in the artilce:

"Leaders of the church approved the policy last week. It added same-sex marriage to acts considered to be a renunciation of the Mormon faith and thus subject to church discipline, including excommunication."

If all children whose parents have committed acts on this list have their baptism delayed, I would feel better about this.

But I guess the first question that needs answered is, can we delay a child's baptism because of the sins of their parents? Then we can talk about which sins and the procedure for determining so. Our liturgy for infant baptism is similar to our liturgy for infant dedication, but our liturgy for believer baptism is the same for children and adults. They go up by themselves and answer the questions by themselves. Should we tell the child beforehand that they are committing to a way of life that their parents are not following? Do we need to reveal all their parent's sins to the child? This would affect the children of gays deeply which is maybe why the LDS church came up with this policy. Or should we raise the age for everyone?
Sstavix wrote: But what about those churches who believe that church "policy" is actually based on the immutable Word of God? It's a little hard to argue with the Big Guy when He's said "This is what I will require of you." Some churches have already taken this stance with some issues, like gay marriage. That could actually be a big factor for those "church shoppers" trying to decide where to worship - is the church trying to adhere to God's word as it appears in the Bible? Or is the church evolving and adapting to reflect the needs and preferences of modern society?
All of our church policy ought to be based on the character of God. That being said, church policy needs to change as we examine it and find more godly ways of doing things and as culture changes we adapt policy to reflect how God would want us to respond. The problem comes when we forget that although God's character doesn't change, His methods do. How many different ways has He spoken to His people? How many different ways did Jesus perform miracles? How many different ways did Jesus heal the blind? It's so hard to write policy. We need to regularly examine it to make sure it reflects God and not our society. But just because our society is embracing gays doesn't mean we need to start putting up our defenses does it? We don't need walls to keep them out, we need to show them a different way.

Should people leave because a church policy changes? It depends. Are we talking personal preference? personal conviction? or downright sinful? Personal preference could influence how we choose a new church, but should not become a battle in the church and usually not become cause to leave a church. Sinful policy should greatly influence how we choose a new church, should be a battle in the church, and should become a reason to leave a church after we have been unable to prevent/change it. Personal conviction is somewhere in the middle.

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

There's a very big difference between a child being raised by normal parents who are living in sin, and a child being raised by a gay couple. The former case acknowledges the sinful nature of the parents' choices, and doesn't pretend to be otherwise, nor is it politically sensitive. A gay couple isn't going to acknowledge any moral problems with how they live, and would thus be teaching the child a lesson that conflicts with Church teaching.

As for the Church changing to suit the culture, don't forget that like the Catholic Church, the LDS Church is led by a person who is believed to be in direct contact with God, and leads the Church by revelation. That means that the Church isn't going to make a change like that unless directed to do so by God.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
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"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ChickenSoup »

I can't do denominations anymore. Can't make a move without word from a grand poobah? Nah.


This isn't a dig at the LDS church. It's at church hierarchy in general. But I'm a rebellious Christian :P
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