Today I had an interesting experience at school that has pretty much just left me confused and wondering. I happened to stumble upon a group of preachers on campus who were, I guess, trying to convert people to whatever it was they were preaching. I noticed the most common word on the table of free books that I stood by for half an hour was the word Christianity, but that could mean a number of things. Having to jump into the middle of already-started conversations, I did my best to ascertain the facts. Pretty much, the only thing I learned for sure was that this group of people apparently preaches mostly on the campus of USU, and is highly affiliated with Oasis Books in Logan. It looked like they were entirely preaching out the New Testament. Being the naïve and sheltered person that I am, I’m not very familiar with other religions so maybe they have a name and I’m just too stupid to know. But I DO know they were very anti-LDS, which was causing a lot of debate in the area.
When I first walked by, a man standing on a chair was yelling at a crowd of people saying “You’re going to hell! You are all wicked people, and I am telling you this because I love you!” In the five minutes I listened to THAT I didn’t get what the heck he was saying it for, so instead I listened to the guy at the book table talk to some students. I couldn’t really grasp the main point of what either of them were trying to say, except for the table guy kept talking about how we are never going to be perfect beings and without sin, so we should just give up on trying and abandon the commandments. He said they exist in order to show us of this evilness inside of us, so that we realize that we cannot save ourselves by works, but we must turn towards God, which is a pretty vague statement by itself.
The guy seemed to be saying that Mormons are especially bad at this – doing the works and following the rules because they think it will save them and get them to Heaven. If you’re reading this and you know me, you know that I’m Catholic, and I personally agree that this bit of the Mormon religion is quite malarkey (thought other people are the exact same way). Following rules is not going to get us to Heaven, however, for table guy to say that we don’t have to worry about correcting our sins because what we do doesn’t save us is pretty dumb. I get that we’re imperfect and we’ll never be able to stop sinning, but shouldn’t we at least put forth effort and reduce the number of harmful things we do to other people? As in, Thou Shall Not Kill?? I feel like this guy was saying we can do whatever we want in life because Christ died for our sins, therefore we’re in the clear.
They’ve got all these info cards and booklets about different stuff – I picked one up called The Impossibility of Agnosticism, because in answering someone’s question about if people go to Hell because they don’t KNOW about God, table guy said nobody doesn’t know about God so that’s not an excuse. This made me mad, so then another person was like, “What about infants who die before they can learn or comprehend anything?” And I was like yeah! (in my head), and then table guy proceeded to half-avoid the question and half-answer it with something that made no sense. So anyway, I read a little bit of the booklet at home just now and it ALSO made no sense. Thus, I am confused about the whole experience and I just don’t know what these people want from us … except to acknowledge we are sinners and can never be perfect, but after that I’m lost. So what, we’re all going to hell? By the time I left they still hadn’t told anybody what to do about it. I seriously considered the possibility that it was just one big psychology experiment to see how they could get a rise out of college kids, because they certainly managed to.
Examples of their radical advertising (there's stuff on the back, of course):