On Ecumenism: My Response to a Peter Enns Quote
By Ken K. Gourdin
Another poster at Mormon Dialogue and Discussion recently posted the following quote (provenance as attributed by him):
If your present community sees your spiritual journey as a problem because you are wandering off their beach blanket, it may be time to find another community. One should never do that impulsively. But if after a time you are sensing that you do not belong, that you are a problem to be corrected rather than a valued member of the community, maybe God is calling you elsewhere and to find for yourself that “they” aren’t so bad after all.
—Peter Enns, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It (p. 241).
People are not problems. Problems are something one has, not something one is. I’m sure we may well disagree on this [screen name redacted], (though hopefully, we can disagree agreeably ), but I don’t know anyone in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who disagrees with that distinction.
As always, I wish you well.
Later in the thread, I responded further:
As I have written elsewhere [on the blog], I do not believe God gives me fruit, bread, and fish when I ask for them while giving those who follow other faith traditions thorns, thistles, stones and serpents when they ask for fruit, bread, and fish (or even that he gives them some sort of ersatz substance that seems like fruit but actually is rather “thorny and thistly,” that seems like bread but actually is rather “stony,” or that seem like fish but actually is rather “serpenty.”
Do I think being a Latter-day Saint, the challenges of being one notwithstanding, is the best thing going? Yep. If I thought otherwise, I’d be something else. If someone asks me why I feel that way, I hope I would be prepared to give him a good answer. If he feels something is lacking in his current belief system, perhaps I can help to offer an alternative. But if he feels at home elsewhere spiritually, and he feels that God has called him to be something else, more power to him. He should be the best Catholic (or whatever he is) that he can be, I’ll try to be the best Latter-day Saint that I can be, and God will bless us both for living the best we know how according to the light we’ve been given.
Whatever we are, as long as we do the best we can to live according to the light we’ve been given, I don’t think God will tell any of us, “Ohhh, sorry. You were mostly wrong.” I think he’ll say, “Congratulations! You were mostly right! Here are some other things you might want to consider.”