After extensive market research (I had a chat to my wife) most respondents (100% to be precise) said that they were rather baffled at the following message.
The intention of my fictitious letter is to try and capture a sense of everything that the Christian Gospel (IMO) is not. The letter is not just wrong in its tone, it's wrong on every technical detail as well. It's an anti-apologetic - the negative, or polar opposite of what the Christian Gospel is. I hope readers will enjoy it like a deviant "Where's Wally" cartoon, in which the task is to find everyone except Wally.
Please save me from the current gods in our universe
You may or may not know what’s been happening down here, but I am appealing to you to save me from the current management. It’s incompetent and it keeps interfering with my efforts to ascend to heaven, where I hope to join you.
Firstly, let’s address the problem of which of these gods we are talking about. It’s a profound problem for us to identify the main culprits because when we asked one his name, he just replied with some garbage about how he didn’t need a name because he was whatever he was (1). Surely you gave him a name, so I trust you will know whom it is that we are talking about.
What makes it more confusing is that the Father appears to have passed on this secret name to his Son (2). I can only presume that this was a poisoned chalice and the Father wants the Son to carry the blame for the mess he created. What else is the meaning of the scapegoat (3)?
Thankfully, one of your appointed prophets, Milton R Hunter, has detailed the program needed to ascend to heaven, stating that God became God “…by absolute obedience to all the eternal laws of the Gospel”(4).
That’s fair enough, but the clowns who are currently in charge, cannot make up their minds about which laws are actually eternal. Firstly there was physical circumcision, brought to us through Abraham (5), then we were told that we don’t need to be circumcised but we actually need faith (whatever that is) (6). More recently, we were told that we need to get several wives to ascend to heaven (7)(8), but now we are encouraged to keep only one. Be assured, I intend to hit all these targets. Even so, the current regime seems unable to acknowledge the efforts of even the best of us (9), which is a sad indictment of their shoddy record-keeping.
Secondly, there is obviously some internal friction in the current management. One of them (we can’t be sure which one) has repeatedly claimed that he’s the only one (10), which can’t possibly be true if you’re reading this letter. We are at a loss as to why the others did nothing to correct this gross misinformation. Most probably they were inexperienced, and were still learning the job at hand.
Now, I’m not objecting to some standing instructions that say we should only deal with one of them (every organization needs its line of command), but if we should only deal with the Son, why does the Father keep sticking his finger into the pie? Or vice versa? And if that’s not enough, it seems that the cousins turn up and stick their fingers into the pie on occasion, too (11). Can you do something to stop these various parties from interfering with each other? Obviously, the current managers are incapable of doing it by themselves.
Finally, the nail in the coffin for these incompetents has to be the episode when the Son came to visit our planet. We all know that it was his job to recruit some disciples, and organize a Church that would stand the test of time. Instead, the Father arranged it so the Son got killed before he could complete this critically important task.
Despite the Father’s rather cruel machinations, the Son had obviously earned enough credit to pull a neat trick and resurrect himself back to life, thus cheating the Father of a well-earned victory. It seems that the Father was not too pleased about this, and after a short period of forty days, pulled the Son back out of our world before he could do any further damage (12).
Following this debacle, both the Father and the Son have remained distant, preferring to communicate to us through the medium of the Holy Ghost. Though we know that this “Holy Ghost” is simply an impersonal projection of the power of the Father and the Son, some of the early disciples seemed to treat it as if it were a “him” (13). Their confusion only demonstrates the conflicting communications we have been getting from the Father and the Son.
Be that as it may, it is plainly evident that the communications to earth have been garbled, as if Father and Son were squabbling over the correct transmission frequency, or the correct mix of ingredients. The evidence is plain to see, because the plain and precious Gospel had been driven from the earth for about 1800 years (14) until one of our own managed to “tune in” to the right transmission. What a waste! Thank goodness our people have started to fix up the mess that the Father and Son have created.
I trust that you can see our quandary. We have been subject to a management that has completely baffled the best of us by their incompetent communications, and they have played dangerously with our precious salvation with their experimentations (some of which ended disastrously). It is only the efforts of some of our own that have saved us from total annihilation.
I sincerely doubt that the current gods will listen to my complaints. I therefore appeal to a higher authority, to you, to save me from them.
Your humble servant,
(1) Exodus 3:13-14
(2) Phil 2:9
(3) Lev 16:21-22
(4) Milton R Hunter "How Men May Become Gods", The Gospel Through The Ages, pp. 114-117.
(5) Gen 17:10
(6) Romans 3:30
(7) Doctrines and Covenants 132
(8) Brigham Young, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy”, Journal of Discourses 11:269, 1866
(9) Romans 4:2
(10) Deut 32:39, Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 45:22
(11) Inferred from the use of “Elohim” as a plural word for “gods” in Psalm 82:1
(12) Acts 1:9
(13) Eph 4:30
(14) e.g. James E Talmage, Articles of Faith, The Great Apostasy: Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History
I originally posted this as a response to a Mormon poster on blog.mrm.org, who argued for henotheism as a way to reconcile the monotheism of the Bible with the overtly polytheistic teachings of the Mormon prophets. Given that the subject is commonly argued in highly technical and commonly, acrimonious terms, I thought I would take a different approach.
Henotheism, broadly speaking, says that there are many ‘gods’, but only one that we should concern ourselves with.