It wasn’t that long ago when Mormon missionaries were forbidden from using the internet, for any purpose whatsoever. Then a little slack was given and they were allowed to write home and view some Church material. In 2001 the ban was lifted, and now nearly 14 million of them are online, for the sole purpose of proselytizing and recruiting converts to the Palmyra-born Church.
Then this past May Church leaders asked 12 full-time missionaries in Rochester, N.Y., to spend their mornings or downtime blogging and discussing various sites that mention Mormonism and describing their experiences on Facebook.
The missionaries work in pairs and the church expects them to “police” each other and them from accessing inappropriate information and such. The goal is to find out whether or not to give missionaries hand-held devices.
My question is this: Isn’t everything proselytizing? Everyone is trying to convert someone to something, and this is all the more so in our day where money is the overriding highest commodity and everyone is seen as potentially adding to any said group’s store of it. Is anything done anymore simply for the sake of spreading truth, for its own merits? Perhaps, but that truth always comes at a price, does it not?
Further, as exemplified by the Church of the Ladder Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormonism, other religious groups are now turning to electronic media to spread their messages.
We can’t even sign on to the internet without being barraged by advertisements, probably the worst form of proselytizing.
We all want others to see the world in the same way(s) or in the same context(s) in which we see it ourselves. Why this is so is not a question I can delve into in this short article, but the reasons for it are many. In the main, however, let’s just reduce it by saying that we are more comfortable in numbers.
One of the main issues, however, is that those numbers now are competing with other groups who themselves have numbers on their side. That is, there are multiple religions who all boast of billions of members. And they all want the other groups of billions to see the way they themselves do. This is a deep issue, one which I have touched on earlier and will comment on later (and see God, the Universe, and Man by William Mitchell).
For now, however, we must simply discuss the example of Mormonism, because they are the first to actively recruit members via the internet, via those same missionaries who come to our front doors. Another question this raises is whether or not what they’re pioneering – along with a select few other groups – is a way that we can bring people closer together in our religions, for at least they’re out doing something about the rifts that are tearing this world apart, and at the very time we should be coming closer together, realizing our dependence on one another, seeing what is the same between us before we focus on the differences. Too many are coming to wrong conclusions, such as there is no God or that we’re not supposed to talk about religion at all. These are perennial questions that now need answers that will remain perennial, that is, what we need now is not just answers, but rather permanent solutions to our troubles. I believe there are answers, but no one has yet come forward with them. Until they do we can only pray, unless we are going to be the ones with those solutions, but all the people I meet prefer playing anti-hero, that is, believing they couldn’t possibly have anything to say, or else they don’t believe at all. But just sitting here isn’t going to solve anything, anywhere, or at any time. And the first thing we must all do is to work on ourselves. For without self-knowledge and movement toward the better things we are nothing.
Source: Democrat and Chronicle
This has been my opinion, what’s yours? Agree with me, disagree with me: let me hear it. Things need to change; this is your chance to tell the universe how. And don’t forget to “subscribe” to be reminded every time I post a new article.