Tuesday 13 May 2014

What is the single most important and positive thing that differentiates Mormonism from mainstream Christianity in the modern West?

The 'dyadic exaltation' aspect of Mormon theology increasingly seems like the key issue: the doctrine that while salvation is available to all (if they choose it), the highest theosis (state of divinity) is for a husband and wife (and their family) united in eternal marriage.

Therefore, marriage and family are at the very heart of God's plan for the salvation and exaltation of Man. 

There is essentially nothing Biblical to support this doctrine, and it was never known to be a feature of the historical and traditional Christian churches; nonetheless you can see that Christians seem independently to have 'discovered' something of the sort at various times and places.

The fact that Joseph Smith made it explicit, and received revelations on this topic - is (for me) a compelling proof of, or reason for, the necessity for the Mormon Restoration of the Gospel - because without explicit revelation on this topic, the core necessity for marriage and family is simply not strong enough in other Christian churches to survive (even in principle) the long term destructive pressures being put onto marriage and family in modern secular societies.

Why not strong enough? Because Catholics are tempted to retreat into celibacy as being (anyway) their highest form of spiritual life; while Protestants/ Evangelicals are tempted to retreat into the individuality of Grace (without any need for any particular earthly arrangements).

And all non-Mormon Christians regard marriage as 'merely' a temporary expedient of earthly and mortal life while will disappear in Heaven - thus, insofar as they develop an other-worldly and post-mortal perspective (as Christians should) - so mainstream Christians will tend to downgrade the importance of marriage and family.

Thus mainstream Christians are not doctrinally compelled to defend marriage and family. And M&F are incrementally and rapidly collapsing in mainstream Christianity. And this collapse of marriage and family will (and is intended to) take down those Christian churches. Not just in theory - but here and now, as things actually are, in the modern secular West.

Anti-Christian Secular Leftism has evolved and probed at mainstream Christianity over the generations, attacking here and attacking there, and it has at last found this weakness - this Achilles heel  - of marriage; and have broken through, and the churches have given-way, and the enemy is pouring into the breach. 

Only Mormonism explains why marriage and family are of eternal significance - plenty of Christians feel that this is so, and that marriage and family are (somehow, potentially) of primary and eternal importance - but only Mormons can actually back this up with revelation incorporated into theology.

My interpretation is their either: 

1. It was intended (by God) that the early stage of Christianity was to be dominated by celibate ascetics (because he foresaw the effects of the collapse of Empire) - but this has changed in the Latter Days. Or else:

2. That the necessary revelations about marriage and family were either lost or eliminated from the scriptural record - and were not, in the end, restored by the Reformation (as perhaps God hoped) due to an excessive and exclusive focus on the Bible, and the contingent but rooted Protestant misunderstanding that there was no other legitimate source of revelation (the falsehood that the Bible is sufficient, and uniquely sufficient; as well as necessary). 

Therefore the Restoration of the Gospel by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints became necessary - to complete the unfinished work of the Reformation, and to correct the deformities which had arisen in consequence.

Of course there is a lot more to Mormonism than that - but as things stand in the West this is probably the single most important and most relevant thing. 

Whether the CJCLDS can continue to withstand the sustained and increasingly aggressive attack on its core doctrines by modern secular Leftism is another matter - but at least they are core doctrines for the LDS, so things are set up as well as they could be. 

As always, it is up to people to be courageous and discerning.