Monday, September 22, 2008

My thoughts on Disillusionment

Working off of my last post, I've been thinking about what I said about disillusionment. It's just something I feel the need to mull over, because I often find myself wishing and sometimes praying for others to experience it. I guess I do this because my seasons of disillusionment have led to the best times of my life, over and above my few moments of, say, enlightenment or breakthrough. I'm not sure why that is, exactly, but I find that the pain and confusion are like the pangs of birth. Whenever there is a new life blooming, there seems to be groaning to usher it in.

So I find myself wondering, is this the way of life? Is this just how it works? Do we have to dismantle everything in order to lay a new foundation? Primarily, is there another way? Can we experience elation through enlightenment, or must we first enter into sorrow?

In the scriptures there are a few illustrations of what I'm talking about: "Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning," that kind of thing. But I also remember that according to the creation/fall story, women have childbearing pain because of the fall. It's not something that is part of the original plan; it's a result of our fallen nature. Maybe this is precisely the point of this story: that were we to be alligned with the holiness and goodness of God, then life would spring forth without pain, but because we cling to our own pride and live in selfishness and sin, we need to go through pain in the dismantling process, tearing apart the structure that we have built up through our fallen nature, in order to finally feel the freedom and vitality of the life of God growing in us.

Those are my thoughts.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


We finally got visited today. Cassie was at work, so I had to entertain our first Mormon missionaries. I let them in to talk for a bit. I started off by telling my own story, and then they did their spiel. It was odd. I don't know who more uncomfortable, me or them. I didn't challenge them on all the weird ideas that their church has, because I couldn't even get them to tell me what they were. All they wanted to talk about was the authority of the prophet and the true church, and if I would only pray about it then the holy ghost would confirm that it was true. So I stuck to that issue, and tried to explain to them that the whole hierarchy thing goes against the teachings of jesus and his apostles, because we all have access to god through the holy spirit. I asked them several times how their doctrines differed from hours, what they believed that wasn't already in the bible, but other than the authority of their prophet, they either didn't know or didn't want to tell me. So to wrap things up, I prayed for them before they left.

I feel a little sorry for those guys. They're so young, and it seems like they've been manipulated and indoctrinated. I can only hope that disillusionment will come soon and lead them to true life. If all they have to go on is the feeling they had when they prayed about whether their church is true or not, then either disillusionment will come or their passion will fade. If their passion merely fades, they'll become stuck in a morass of mediocrity. If they are disillusioned, they will be forced to come to grips with everything that bothers them.

These two guys in particular didn't seem all that knowledgable about their faith. They certainly didn't know the bible well, other than a couple of key verses (strangely similar to the ones Roman Catholics use to support their own heirarchy ideas). And they didn't reveal anything about the doctrines of their church. From what I've heard about those, I'm not even sure these guys would know what they are. Either that, or they've been instructed to stick to the message and not get into anything too controversial.

One thing that bothered me was their smugness. It wasn't like they acted incredibly superior, but they were so convinced of their own rightness, that there was little interest in what I had to say. I reminded me of many christians I've known. Anyway, that was my experience. It wasn't all that special, but I hope I had some kind of effect on those guys. I'd hate to think they came in here for nothing.