Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mormon Misconceptions: "Cry Repentance"

This is another one that applies to more than just Mormons.The scripture talk about Crying repentance, but what does that really mean?

I have always envisioned some guy standing on top of a city wall, yelling down to the people to mend their wicked ways - Certainly, there have been cases where God has very specifically instructed individuals to do just that: Jonah was sent to Nineveh, Samuel the Lamonite was sent to the Nephites... There are many other cases.

But... That kind of crying repentance was always initiated by a very specific, personal directive form God. What about the rest of the time? And how do you reconcile the seeming dichotomy between "Cry repentance" and "Judge not...".

Because after all, while you are lecturing that adulterer regarding his/her final resting place for their most heinous sin, you are equally damning yourself by driving 5 miles over the speed limit, or 'borrowing' a pencil form work, or possibly watching you favorite TV series, or by saying something mean on twitter/facebook/etc...  ("I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.",  "Whosover looketh upon a woman to lust after her...", "Whosoever shall say unto his brother 'Thou fool...'")

"But those aren't as bad..."

Who says? Re-read the previous scriptural quotes. Seems to me God made it clear we're all doomed, but for the Atonement, (Which is infinite, so...).

So, looking to the Savior again as the example, how did he "cry repentance"?

"Come, follow me." He invited people to "Be better",

"Neither do I condemn thee..." He knew their mistakes, he knew they knew. He didn't cluck his tongue, roll his eyes, or whisper to the apostles. He was frank, honest, nonjudgmental, and encouraging.

He invited through example, he was honest, patient and sincere. He spoke softly. He was consistent.

Repentance isn't about confessing how horrible you were to everyone - How you were wrong and they were right. Often I think that is really what repentance criers are seeking - That smug self-satisfaction, that sense of  'justice' the opportunity to say "I told you so" (Hey, even Jonah struggled with that, he Finished up in Nineveh, and went outside to wait and watch the fireworks when God dropped the bomb, which  didn't drop, because the Ninevites did repent.

Repentance is continual improvement. Crying repentance is encouraging those who are struggling to improve.

No comments:

Post a Comment