Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister


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I finally found my CTR ring again. I’d taken it off for a shower nearly a year ago and thought it was gone forever. While I’m celebrating I thought I’d take some time to explain on the internet what so many people ask me “Why do you wear a CTR ring?”

For those that don’t know, it’s a Mormon invention (hence the controversy) CTR is something of the Latter Day Saints version of our protestant WWJD. It stands for Choose The Right, the implication of which is that in any choice you are offered, It is wise and in keeping with Christian holiness to consistently choose the most righteous option. Pretty simple

So why bother wearing the ring? Well I happen to love it, and I think the CTR concept is superior to WWJD in a number of ways. WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? Is an excellent question to ans, and the book that spawned the interest “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldon is absolutely foundational, but it has a few marked weaknesses is assuming:

1: That I actually know what it is Jesus would do in every situation. I get that I should strive to come to know but for the most part the prospect of determining whether or not Jesus would take an extra piece of cake is easier said than done.

2: That what Jesus would do is what I should (and can) do. The fact of the matter is that in some situations what Jesus would do is spit in the dirt to make mud, and rub the mud in your eyes until you can see again. That’s just not always going to work for me

3: (and this one is probably the worst) That there is only one right good Christian response, that being what Jesus would do. I don’t know if Jesus would ever play a video game but I certainly do, and think it’s often right of me to do so. What Paul did is dissimilar to what jesus did in a number of ways and I think that’s to his credit, if he had stayed in Isreal open air preaching we would all be suffering for it today.

CTR has none of these problems, and I find it particularly hospitable to my own personal understanding that when a choice is presented to me, I have not two options, but a plethora of different moral options all representing various degrees of nearness to or distance from the right, and my goal is to pick the rightmost one I can.


Written by RyanGaffney

August 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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