Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crossing the Rubicon --
Well, I did it.

I've been attending Vintage21 Church for about two years, served, tithed, volunteered, attended the required membership class, met with the pastors, etc.

The final step was filling out the on-line membership covenant.

It was a very different experience. When I joined the LDS church I was baptised in front of new friends by priesthood holders who had met with me in my home for a period of months. Previous missionaries came back from other places to share the day with me. I still remember it well.

The process of joining Vintage21 church was much more 21st century. There was a web form to fill out with my personal information, a tithing pledge, radio buttons to click on indicating that I agreed to certain doctrinal and behavioral norms, and finally, at the bottom of the web form, a button labelled "Submit!". Whether that was intentional irony I have no idea. i.e. "submit the form", "submit to the Lord", or all the above.

Since this affected Sarah I wanted to share this with her, so we sat down at the computer together while I filled out the form, we held hands, and I clicked on the "Submit!" button.

The form rejected my entry because I left out a required field. Apparently the angels were not going to descend in rings of flame at this point.

I corrected the entry, Sarah and I held hands, and once I again I attempted to "Submit!".

This time I was successful, and I am now a member of Vintage21 Church, Raleigh North Carolina, with whatever privileges come with that.

The fork in the road has been taken.

Next up: the letter informing my stake president. Will that lead to some kind of disciplinary action, or just become lost in his in-box? Time will tell.


Paul said...

In your previous post you mentioned that, “It's just a blessing to be able to think for myself and to not be constrained by "official" interpretations of what it means.“ Now you’re checking radio buttons, “indicating that I agreed to certain doctrinal and behavioral norms.”

As I mentioned perviously, my wife and I are following your blog together and she commented that, “It appears to me they’re just going from one frying pan to another.” In any event I wish you and your wife the all the best.

I get an odd feeling reading about someone’s process in leaving the LDS church -- scary, actually -- perhaps even sad, as well. I just can’t help but wonder if you are making the right decision, e.g. loosing eternal sealing blessings and that you will end up being “the good people of the earth” and be going to a lesser kingdom (Terrestrial) instead of the highest. Of course, that’s how I’ve been indoctrinated since early childhood on up through the years, so it may be different for you. Although there are still all of the red flags in Mormonism that may have made your decision easier.

I suppose only time can tell how this decision will end up for you. Who’s to say that you won’t be taking yet another fork along the road you are traveling on.

Bob Dixon said...

Well, I think all organizations have some standards they want to adhere to. Although it may be another frying pan, it's a lot smaller and the heat isn't turned up quite as high. Check it out:

FWIW I am not trying to leave the church, precisely because I don't want to invalid the ordinances if I turn out to be wrong. :-) Realistically the church I'm attending now exemplifies my "mormonism" more than the current institutional LDS church does. Mormonism is inherently forward looking and not obsessed with preserving the innovations of the past.

Maybe with a different president I would be back. If Jeffrey R Holland or Dieter Uchtdorf were running the show, it might actually be worth sticking around to see what happened. They seem like Christian men and not just sitting in the Admiral's chair on the bridge of the battleship admiring the view while others toil away down below.

Nikki G said...

Hilarious! I laughed at reading that you missed one of the required fields. Good luck on your journey. :)