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No Man Can Serve Two Masters
« on: April 21, 2020, 07:45:53 pm »
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24, RSV

While Jesus' teaching is placed directly in context of money, I'm pretty sure I'm not out in left field by claiming that the principle is a lot more universal than just about riches.

For the past few years, anecdotal observation has seemed to indicate that those with strong ideological commitment to anything other than the Gospel are the most likely to apostatize. This seems to be the case regardless of what those commitments are. Extreme conservatives and extreme liberals seem equally likely to conservative or liberal their way right out of the church.

The point I'm trying to get at here isn't to clearly define what counts as "extreme" but to be aware of what counts as a master. An ideology is a master. Ideologies by their very nature are not casual things.

Ever since I made that observation about apostasy I've had this on my mind. It seems pretty obvious when you think about it. Can you serve two ideologies that are likely to come into contact with one another? Not very well. You are going to end up sticking with one and disregarding the other, or even loving one and resenting the other. And eventually you're going to have to give up one of them.
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Re: No Man Can Serve Two Masters
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2020, 09:30:51 pm »
It does not have to be politics.  I’ve seen too many members of the Church leave when fame came into their life.

OSC once wrote an essay, where he said (paraphrase), Whatever the first thing someone says when you ask them who they are—that is their first loyalty.  If something threatens that, it’s pushed away. 
Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
-Ray Bradbury
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Re: No Man Can Serve Two Masters
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 04:25:29 am »
Back in the 70's and 80's particularly members in the UK were very anti anyone being a Free Mason. It was seen as a barrier to a Temple Recommend and several Stake President's would not issue one to a Free Mason. My Dad joined the Church in 1969. In the 80's he was approached by several friends to see if he would like to be a Free Mason. He actually took the opportunity to speak to Elder David B Haight about it in private who told him there was no reason he could not be a Free Mason.

So he did, he has been a Provincial Grand Master, and held Grand Lodge offices.

However, despite what Elder Haight had said he had a Stake President who would not give him a recommend. Some time in the late eighties Elder Packer was training Stake Presidents in England and the SP was there and asked about Free Mason. Elder Packer's response was he saw no problem with a man being a Free Mason so long as the Church, especially in respect of his time and covenants, always came first.

The interesting part of this story is that a Free Mason husband of a faithful Sister only joined the Church because of my Dad becoming a Free Mason. He had not joined because of the insistence of others that he would have to give up being a Free Mason - he went on to serve as Bishop of his ward.

We can do lots of things, and we can be a part of lots of organisations and movements. But we can only allow one to be our Master. The rest must come within the keeping of our covenants.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
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Re: No Man Can Serve Two Masters
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 09:42:32 am »
In order to apply the phrase to our lives, we need to understand the word "Master." In human terms, a master is someone who has authority over others--he has others who work for him. Most often, it is associated with someone who has servants or even slaves. In design terms, a master is an original from which copies are made--it sets the standard for comparison.

In both uses of the word, we can't have both Christ and someone/something else as our master. We belong to Christ. He purchased us with his life. We are his children. When we choose to follow Him, we leave behind all other masters. His life sets the standard--the design or pattern for us to follow in our own life. Copying any other master will introduce flaws.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
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Re: No Man Can Serve Two Masters
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2020, 11:31:41 am »
Anything we put in front of Christ and the gospel, and ultimately base our decisions and actions on, is our Master. Or in other words, our 'other god.' 
Political ideals.
Sexual desires.
Pet values.
Desire for justice.
Personal ideas of how we think the world 'should' be.

I have personally seen people drift away or outright leave the Church for nearly every one of these reasons (except money, ironically). People who leave because how dare the Church [congregation] be associated with conservative politics?  People who leave because their sexual orientation (or the sexual orientation of others) and the fulfillment of the desires thereof is more important and if the Church won't change the rules, then the sex is more important. Traditions--my family has always done this and they were 'good members' in the past so that's enough to get me to heaven.  People who think that the way to deal with people who sin in ways they don't like is to hate, abuse, reject, and destroy the lives of people who are tempted or want to live in that direction, in direct contradiction to multiple prophetic talks that we need to love, love, love. People who go through some sort of tragedy and insist that if God were real that wouldn't have happened. People who were abused by someone in the Church and don't feel that the Church or others dealt with it properly (and it sometimes WASN'T dealt with properly) so they Church cannot be true. On and on and on.

What is your idol god? What do you put above the gospel?  Matt. 10:39 "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
What are you willing to give up for Christ? If it isn't everything...then you have a chink in your spiritual armor.
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