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I'm a Christian, married to a wonderful man, Steven, and mother to a wonderful little son. I have many interests and a few noteworthy journeys in life and I enjoy sharing them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

But I'm a Good Person!

How often have I heard this an other defenses of the Mormon church! "But I'm a good person/we're good people!" "But we have high standards." "But we have good family values."

And I say...so what?

Being a good person or teaching high standards and being family focused are good things of course...but they do not make something true, nor do they provide a good excuse to keep following something untrue.

For instance, the argument that "we're good people." First of all, not all people within a religion or worldview are good. I've known two active Mormons who were unrepentant rapists. While some religions may be better and some worse in things like this, there are bad people in all religions and worldviews--whether their belief is necessarily sincere or not is another question. I know that at least one of those rapists sincerely believed in the Mormon religion. Second, there are good people in the majority of religions and worldviews. Mormon, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, Wiccan, and so forth--it doesn't matter. There are good and bad people in pretty much all of them.

Second, good is a relative term. If we're talking about good on the world's standards, sure, many Mormons are good. Many people in general are good on that standard. But what about God's standards? Are people good on God's standards? Let's consider this. Have you lied? Lusted after someone not your spouse? Stolen? Used God's or Jesus' name(s) as a cuss word (blasphemed)? Coveted? Disobeyed your parents? If you're honest, you probably have to say yes to most of these, and most of us would probably have to say yes to all of them. This means that in God's eyes, you are not good.

Romans 3:12 All have turned away,
   they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
   not even one.

Mark 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone."

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Having high standard is good, but does not prove a religion right or true. You could say Muslims have high standards--but does that make it true? Does it change that their violence and extreme sexism is wrong? Not at all. Sometimes, high standards go overboard into legalism, and Mormons fall into this category, creating guilt for those who fail to meet the standards (even if they're a good person focused on God) and pride for those who meet the standards (even if they're self-righteous pricks more concerned about themselves than God). You can get good standards from many different world views. Even atheists can have pretty high standards--many are humanists.

Family values are also good, but again doesn't prove a religion right or true. In fact, Mormons take family to the level of idolatry. Eternal family, family values, and family focus are taken to such a high level of teaching and focus that it is often put over God in their daily lives. Family is is most certainly something people should focus on--a Christian is certainly admonished to raise their children right. But it should never be put above God.

So, when all is said and done...yes, maybe that's true. But does that make your religion right, or does it mean you should stay it in if its not right? Definitely not.


  1. Hi. I recently saw your videos and found them inspiring. I commend you for having the bravery to leave a religion that you couldn't agree with the reasons behind some of their teachings. But I would like your opinion on something, following what a read in your last post and the Ray Comfort video you've posted, I would like to know if you believe that atheists can be saved. Because atheists can live good lives, be honest and care for others. but Matthew 12 says:"And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
    Jesus can forgive all sins, no matter how terrible, he can even forgive those who speak against him (the Jews for example), but that passage along with other about atheism clearly mean that disbelief cannot be forgiven. Whats your take on this?

  2. Johnny, only those with belief can be saved. An atheist would have to become a believer. Jesus' exact meaning here is not perfectly clear, so trying to build a doctrine such as "someone who one was an atheist cannot be saved" based on it would not be right. There's no reasons that atheists should be excluded as opposed to, say, Wiccans or Muslim who later convert to Christianity. None of them believed rightly in God beforehand, and all have the potential of speaking bad against the Christian God, so all are equal in that respect. But again, an atheist would have to become a born-again Cheistian to be saved, just like anyone else. I hope that helps.

  3. Hello Lee. First of all I am very impressed with your ability to write so well on this blog. I found it last week via a link from Russ on CARM. Your story is amazing and inspiring. I look forward to future offerings. I am a Christian guy married to a Mormon gal, so when I read your blog it kinda' gives me hope.

    I'm also impressed with your ability to honestly address so much of what the LDS church props-up to the rest of the world in order to show just how right they are and win converts. The whole bit they do touting how "good" their members are and that's why someone should join...oh, please. I know an awful lot of moral Buddhists, too, and have no desire to have a statue of a little chubby dude on my mantle. :)

    Keep up the good work. May God Bless you and Steven.