A number of more significant posts about religion I’ve made in the past year relating to Anwei, identity, and the various problems with Christianity, revolve around the conflict between identity in Jesus and one’s identity in the family and nation. This seems to violate the self-evident moral truths upon which we rely to extrapolate a source for objective morality (God), so this is no small problem.
But it is worth mentioning that there is at least one variant of Christianity that does not suffer from this problem: Mormonism.
In Mormonism, it is held that as man is, so God once was, and as God is, so man one day may be, which not only provides a uniquely Mormon answer to the problem of evil, but has interesting implications for the family, since the angels are considered to be not only God’s creation, but his actual children. In mainstream Christianity, death and departure to heaven entails shedding behind all earthly attachments, including one’s family. But in Mormonism, the family is not merely of earthly significance, but theological significance, and one is reunited with one’s family in the afterlife. In fact, a long-term goal is to be a patriarch — a father of nations — in the vein of Abraham, or perhaps even God himself.
Now I am not a scholar of Mormon theology, nor have I ever been a Mormon (given the title of this blog, this fact is not likely to change). The point here is not to advocate Mormonism, but simply to point out that my criticism of Christianity on the grounds of its exclusive claim to the hearts of its adherents does not seem to apply to the Mormon faith. The emotive problem of evil simply doesn’t seem to exist, and the concept of the Anwei appears compatible with — perhaps even pre-built into — the faith.