A Curious Contrast: The following False Witness comes from the May 26 HOTM program. The False Witness is not found so much in what Shawn was saying, but in how Shawn was "being." You see, it is possible to keep one's words squeaky clean, and still be living a lie, from the heart. Think about that possibility as you read this exchange between Shawn McCraney and a Mormon:
Shawn McCraney: "We're going to Erica in Smithfield on line three. Erica you're on Heart of the Matter."
Erica, the Mormon: "Shawn, I don't know what's with the Indian get up, it's kind of mocking what you're doing. Let's be Christian. Isn't there scriptures you could be talking about that says something about breeding contention?"
Shawn McCraney: "Well actually this is a visual representation of Mormons on one part of them, presenting the goodness, and the other side, showing the savagery that they perpetrated at Mountain Meadows. I don't wear this every week."
Erica, the Mormon: "Right, you've come a long way in your shows that I've watched over the years."
Shawn McCraney: "So what's the problem?"
Erica, the Mormon: "Shawn, keep it Christian."
Shawn McCraney: "What?"
Erica, the Mormon: "Keep it Christian. You're breeding contention. You're bashing the Church. The massacre is not happening today. Let's move on."
Shawn McCraney: "Would you ever say that to a Jew, about the Holocaust."
*** Dr Matt's Comment: Erica or Shawn may not "ever say that to a Jew," but I would and have done precisely that in my book "Changing Your Stripes." Pointing out the Holocaust sometimes becomes a cultural and traditional excuse to harbor resentment that the Lord Jesus Christ would have Jews, and all Humanity, let go of! And instead forgive, and focus attentions and actions upon the Loving words and deeds done today.
Erica, the Mormon: "You know, what happened . . . happened. If they're not practicing it right now, let's move on. Isn't that really what Christ would like us to do?""
Shawn McCraney: "If they're not practicing it right now. What Christ would like us to do. . . . You're telling me that I need to spend my show solely on the Bible . . . But when I bring up things that are contrary, that show you what your doctrine has done, you say that it's bringing contention, and I need to let that go."
Erica, the Mormon: "But why are you dwelling on that? Isn't your show supposed to be to invoke the Spirit of Christ?"
Shawn McCraney: "OK, first of all, where do you read that as far as a description of our show? The description of the show is . . . where Mormonism meets Biblical Christianity face to face. Tonight I pointed out that they had a chance, over a five day period of time, to turn from their murderous ways and save those people."
Erica, the Mormon: "So are you wanting the Mormons today to pay the price for what some Mormons did back then?"
Shawn McCraney: "I want them to apologize . . ."
Erica, the Mormon: "Shawn, those people are not still here to apologize to you."
Shawn McCraney: "The Religion that authored the massacre has never apologized."
Erica, the Mormon: "The Religion has people in it, does it not?"
Shawn McCraney: "What?"
Erica, the Mormon: "Shawn, be a Christian."
Shawn McCraney: "Will you stop saying my name like that; it sound like my mom and it's ticking me off."
Erica, the Mormon: "Shawn, be a Christian."
Shawn McCraney: "Be a Christian."
Erica, the Mormon: "That is what Christ would like you to do: Be a Christian, Shawn."
Shawn McCraney: "Let me tell you what you're doing here, is that you're using Jesus's name to get what you want."
Erica, the Mormon: "I don't want anything, Shawn."
Shawn McCraney: "You're giving me all kinds of suggests: You do want something. You say 'Be a Christian. This is what Jesus would want.' He wants me to put on blinders, put on ear muffs, put a piece of tape over my mouth, and look to the prophet. Is that what He wants?"
Erica, the Mormon: "No. No. I think you're just trying to breed contention. "
Shawn McCraney: "Well, you made that point, do you have another one?"
Erica, the Mormon: "That's my point, Shawn: To be a Christian is to not breed contention."
Shawn McCraney: "Have you read in the scriptures where is say 'contend earnestly for the faith' . . . CONTEND earnestly for the faith?"
Erica, the Mormon: "EARNESTLY"
Shawn McCraney: "CONTEND . . . (shaking his head) Gaul! You are a Mormon!"
Erica, the Mormon: "The Mormons who did the Mountain Meadows Massacre are not here today, correct?"
Shawn McCraney: "The Mountains Meadow Massacre is going to be here again in my opinion. In some way, shape, or form. I'm just warning my Christian brothers and sisters. . . . I would suggest that there are Mormons today, who would take people who they would felt were a danger to their faith, and kill them. That is the spirit of the Mountain Meadows Massacre"
Erica, the Mormon: "All Mormons do not do these bad things, is that not correct? Please be careful how you label the religion, and the people that are within it.
Shawn McCraney: "Mormons say they are Christians. OK? That comes from the top. That comes from the newspaper and their conferences."
Erica, the Mormon: "Right."
Shawn McCraney: "So, when they step into our arena, they're going to have a battle. Do you think we should just sit back and just say well . . . come on in, join the party. It's never been that way. Jesus said you're going to lose your life for this stuff. You're going to separate families, fathers and husbands and sons and daughters will go against each other, for My sake. Do you get that? Or do you think it should all be: 'Let's just all get along.' . . . Do ya?"
Erica, the Mormon: "Wow! Why the hostility?"
Shawn McCraney: "Because you're making me mad, . . . that's why the hostility.
Erica, the Mormon: "I'm sorry Shawn, that's not my intention, I'll hang up."
Shawn McCraney: OK, you hang up, . . . thank you. OK Erica, bye. Besides, I'm an Indian tonight, I can be a little angry. By the way, I am part Indian, so there's no disrespect to the Indian people."
Why this is a False Witness: This false witness is not so much about the words spoken by Shawn McCraney, but by the emotions he exhibits as he "contends" for the faith. In his own words, he admits: "you're ticking me off" . . . "you're making me mad," . . . "I can be a little angry . . . . I'm part Indian." (which suggests that Indians are an angry people, frequently on the war path—can you say UNFAIR stereotype?)
Indeed, Shawn was contending, and the Mormon caller made a good point that his emotional tone was "contentious." Why is Shawn, the Christian, getting ticked off, mad, and angry? And in contrast, the Mormon Caller is NOT getting ticked off, mad, and angry?
To understand why exhibiting "angry" emotions is LIVING a False Witness (apart from speaking a False Witness), please read what I've written at the page of my website: It's an excerpt from my book, Changing Your Stripes: When You're in the BRIAR, You're a Liar!
Notice how Shawn said "So, when they [the Mormons] step into our arena [the Evangelical Christians], they're going to have a battle." The way Shawn has framed his words, suggests that Christianity does not belong primarily with . . . Christ, but resides with the . . . Evangelical Christians. It further suggests that Shawn is a spokeman for the Evangelical Christian Cause.
I do not look to Shawn McCraney to tell me what it means to be a Christian; instead, I look to the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. I've already established that Shawn's definitions about being Christian are off: because they do not square with the words of the Bible, and most importantly, Shawn's words do not square with the words of Christ.
False Witness of the Week
"Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
"Mastering a challenging situation
"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
If these ideas resonate and ring true,
Changing Your Stripes is a