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  1. I am new to Mormon Stories and i appreciate the dialogue. I am an active very believing Latter Day Saint. I listen because i find all aspects of the Church interesting, even when those i hear do not share my beliefs. I listened to the entire Dr. Hendrix interview. I would say my time as a Mormon Stories listener are over. Shawn McCraney is someone i know and have known (not personally) for many years. I find his speech and his way of spewing vitriol towards the Church a bridge too far for me. I am as committed to the LDS Church as any time in my life but i can listen to dissent and debate and I enjoy the Histrionics very much but guys like these immediately make me turn the channel and not come back. I am know i am not your core audience and may not even be someone you want to not listen and with guest like this guy i will no longer be listening.

    1. Tre, with hundreds of interviews conducted to-date on Mormon Stories, there are lots of interviews of faithful members of the church for you to listen to if you look back through the catalog. I would also point out, it’s hypocritical to say you appreciate dialogue, then throw a hissy and stomp off because one out of hundreds of interviews offends you. I would say that shows you’re really not open to dialogue and just want to stay comfy cozy in an echo-chamber surrounded by people that flatter your beliefs. Ultimately, it’s your loss and chance to grow as a human being.

      1. Well said Min-Shaft.

        John is the best, in part, because of the diversity of guests he interviews , including some perceived as controversial.

        Tre, I would recommend sticking with Mormon General Conference Podcasts.

  2. Shawn, John! Fantastic interview. I think that it was Shawn’s first interview 8 years ago that first got me to understand what Christianity was and that Mormonism wasn’t Christian.
    Sorry to mention another podcast but Infants on Thrones episode 492 is a listener essay about how a true reading of the Bible is enough to show that Mormonism is not in agreement with the Bible.
    John, Christianity isn’t about making us better people, read the Seven Habits book. It’s about knowing who God is and knowing who we are in relationship to him (or her). I’ve heard it beautifully said that the purpose of life is no know God and to make him known.
    God and heaven exist outside of time, so the question of what will we do in heaven is irrelevant.

  3. Shawn definitely knows the Bible and is absolutely correct to focus on the basic tenets of Christianity (believe in God , Love your fellow man.) The power of christianity i think is in it’s simplicity thru a direct relationship with God – too often lost in the present man made religious institutions.

    One request for all you advertising, social media, internet experts out there – would someone please get shawn his own mega-church! I know he says he doesn’t want one but i think he would learn to like it and he’s definitely got the charisma and camera presence to be very successful……..

  4. Min-Shaft thank you for the insight. I agree, I was too quick to judge based on an interview I didn’t not like. I’ve only listened to those who are no longer affiliated with the church, so I’m not comfortable with just the echo chamber. Shawn has just not been someone I’ve enjoyed over the last 5-6 years. I appreciate your comments and taking the time to reply.

  5. When I first listened to the podcasts, I had a somewhat negative view of Shawn McCraney. I wrote a few comments and started to click submit but stopped. I remembered the interview I had seen with him several years ago. So, I went to google and searched for him. I found some interesting debates, interviews, and his ministry podcasts. I watched one such debate with well-known scholar David Price. It was a good exchange but David did what he always does; he injects the Greek when it’s convenient, Hebrew when it’s convenient, and throws out multiple verses to prove a point knowing full well that nearly no one can handle all the incoming machine fire. Mr. Price tried these same tactics in a debate with Bart Ehrman and got absolutely destroyed.

    At any rate, I found the softer, gentler version of himself that I had remembered. I found someone far less judgmental. I found someone talking about God writing on our hearts and how that was the greatest testifier even before we had a canon. Do I now think he’s hardened his stance? Yup! The part about attacking a man and his wife like a psychopath if it were not for Jesus in his life was just disturbing. To me, he still seems to hold in a lot of anger that’s on the surface.

  6. Shawn is likable and you really want to be agreeable with him. I do believe he has integrity and truly believes what he says (although see point 1 below). But…

    1) It’s a little frustrating hear him continually say how wrong he might be, how wrong he has been, how nobody knows, etc etc and be so indignant about how wrong the South Mountain (for instance) setup is. He admitted his church is boring (see point 2) and said something like “there’s a real need for other churches” but then later says there’s not a single church that he knows of in UT doing things right. So… what’s a person to do if they respect Shawn as a teacher? If we follow Shawn’s model there will be no real believers in two generations…
    2) Piggy backing on that last line, I can’t imagine anything more tedious than line-by-line reading of the bible or book of mormon. Shawn’s church sounds awful to my ADHD mind. That’s me, I never enjoyed scriptures (I’m an active, mostly believing, RM Mormon). It might be self-effacing for Shawn to say his church is boring, but I believe him by that description. Again, where are the future believers if he’s the only one in the state doing things right? (I know he’d say he’s NOT doing things right. But then, why all the really strong opinions about others doing it wrong…)
    3) Community is so important to building faith and Shawn is blowing by the importance of that. Saying any social group or setting (Disneyland, etc) will get you the same thing just isn’t true. Understood many here don’t care about faith, just saying from Shawn’s Christian perspective I don’t see the sustainability in his new model
    4) John mentioned shades and his point was good. Shawn is a few shades more liberal than South Mountain on gay members it seems. But certainly not as liberal as John Dehlin for example. Shawn collects money, has overtly asked for it on his TV show in the past (albeit in a MUCH more less-threatening and pressurized way), but by a few shades South Mountain is even more overt/aggressive. John mentioned by Shawn’s reading the church should meet in an open field. Shawn countered saying his was an open field building w/ a roof. Again, we’re talking scope and comparing it to black-and-white rules in the Bible. The point… there’s aren’t hard and fast rules it seems and it’s easy to wonder if Shawn’s criticisms of other churches can’t be turned on him.

    There are a couple other things but I’ll stop at that. I do like Shawn like I wrote but for whatever reason felt compelled to write this out.

    1. To your third point, a Lim and Putnam (2010) study on life satisfaction and religious networks concluded:”in terms of life satisfaction, it is neither faith nor communities, per se, that are important, but communities of faith. For life satisfaction, praying together seems to be better than either bowling together or praying alone.” You’re right to point out that a faith community provides benefits above and beyond those which can be gleaned from any other type of social group.

  7. Incidentally John, I really enjoy the interviews of former Mormon Christians. Interesting stuff and I appreciate the time.

  8. Shawn and John, your hearts are in the right place. However, drop this Jesus crap (Jesus was like us — Human) and change it to God!!! Drop the bible, devils, demons, hell, etc. they are not accurate —- find the truth for yourself!!! Dropping religion is ‘correct’ they are all man made as is the bible! Find God yourself, and you will find truth!!! If you seek truth you will find it but work with God yourself, you don’t need anyone else but you and God!

  9. To Aaron,

    I welcome an investigation, Aaron. We have worked too hard to live what we claim so come on over and do some due diligence! Im the meanwhile the repetition of “i dont know” is both important and honest. Its vital in real religion because we dont know much. I stand fully by my criticism of all institutional religion that imposes ANYTHING on anyone in the name of God.

  10. Traditional Christianity is bondage, and the traditional Christian Jesus is bondage. The Bible as “the word of God” is bondage, and the Gospels as reliable history are bondage.

    The things of most value in the Bible and Christianity and Mormonism are whatever overlaps with or is consistent with the values of Humanism. Pretty much everything else is just religion. Which, like all religion, is purely human and nothing but Homo sapiens.

    But even after leaving Mormonism and leaving Christianity, the Bible remains interesting and endlessly fascinating, not least as a window into the invention of Christianity out of the life and death of Jesus.

    If Christianity or any religion improves the quality of your life and death, and your family and community, and helps you be a more compassionate and empathic person, it probably doesn’t make much difference that it’s false — as long as you don’t hurt anybody else with it. And that includes indoctrinating and brainwashing children, and it includes the false religious sin, shame and guilt that comes with it..

    Keep up the good work, Mormon Stories!

  11. Traditional Christianity is bondage, and the traditional Christian Jesus is bondage. The Bible as “the word of God” is bondage, and the Gospels as reliable history are bondage.

    The things of most value in the Bible and Christianity and Mormonism are whatever overlaps with or is consistent with the values of Humanism. Pretty much everything else is just religion.

    But even after leaving Mormonism and leaving Christianity, the Bible remains interesting and endlessly fascinating, not least as a window into the invention of Christianity out of the life and death of Jesus.

    If Christianity or any religion improves the quality of your life and death, and your family and community, and helps you be a more compassionate and empathic person, it probably doesn’t make much difference that it’s false — as long as you don’t hurt anybody else with it. And that includes indoctrinating and brainwashing children, and it includes the false religious sin, shame and guilt.

    Keep up the good work, Mormon Stories!

    1. According to the First Article of Faith of the American Humanist Association:

      “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.” (Humanist Manifesto 1, First art.)

      Where is the scientific proof that the universe is self-existing? My answer… nada. This is one of those superstitions held by humanists, atheists, and freethinkers that cannot be backed by science. Science is all about understanding causes and effects within the universe. To say that the universe itself is self-existing is to say that it has no cause. Therefore, such claims are no longer in the realm of science, but outside of it. It is therefore a superstition.

      Unfortunately, we know from science that the universe has not always existed. There was a moment in the finite past when it did not exist. Therefore, it cannot be self-existing. Something must have caused it to exist.

      Now if the very first article of faith of these humanists is bunk, it’s hard to see how the rest of their beliefs isn’t bunk either.

  12. The quintessential example of psycho bible BABBLE. If I had to choose between McCraney and the LDS faith I would vote for the latter despite the negative weight of LDS history

  13. Shawn is correct when he says that a church is just a social club. Where people go wrong is in connecting their direct relationship with God and Jesus through prayer and living their lives in harmony with his teaching and the blessing they receive from that relationship and that it’s somehow connected to the church they attend. You don’t need a church to have a relationship with God and Jesus Christ.

  14. Loved hearing sean’s perspective. Very inspiring. Jesus took care of it all (assuming you believe in him) – and that message resonates with me as an atheist. If I were to describe myself it would be athiest Christian – and I for one don’t need a religion to bring meaning to my life. The principles of Jesus alone are valuable to me and to all.

    >>”Come to church, pay your tithes, live a certain way, be a certain way…”

    that is lame.

    IF Christ did what Christians claim he did/was – then learn from that and apply it. If that makes me Christian or athiest- I don’t care. I don’t believe in a literal Jesus, I believe in human progression. And that message is good for any/all

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