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It came up in church a few weeks ago—that dreaded “wheat and tares” analogy. I’ve been hearing it a fair amount lately.
“It’s the wheat and the tares,” the righteous will sigh, sadly shaking their heads.
Way - Tares - Board - Something - Church
Sometimes they are talking about the unfortunate way Tares aren’t getting on board with something top-ranking church leaders have emphasized. Maybe the Tares aren’t doubling down on using the full name of the institution, or they disagree with the Church’s teachings on sexuality and gender roles.
Or sometimes the righteous are lamenting the loss of more of our young people, who are leaving the fold at a higher rate than their parents and grandparents did.
Tares - Failings - Eyes - Wheaties - Refrain
Whatever the Tares’ particular failings in the eyes of the Wheaties, one refrain feels constant:
Those people are expendable.
People - Weeds
Those people are weeds.
The church will be better off without those people.
Mormons - Wheat-and-tares - Tares - Jesus - Matthew
I wonder how many Mormons who fall back on wheat-and-tares thinking remember much about the tares in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13.
Three things stand out to me.
Tares - Weeds - Enemy - Sower - Presumably—spoiler
First, the tares, or weeds, are sown by an “enemy” after the good sower (presumably—spoiler alert!—God) has already planted the wheat in the fields. So right from the beginning, the tares are quisling plants, traitors so embedded with the wheat that they are indistinguishable from it until the day of harvest.
Second, when the harvest comes, the tares are destroyed without a second thought. Burned to a crisp while the wheat is safely gathered into the barn.
Third - Master - One - Individuals - Story
Third, it’s the Master who decides when that happens, and no one else. Some “helpful” individuals earlier in the story volunteer to go out into the fields right after the Great Tare Infiltration and uproot the unwanted elements, but the Master instructs them to cool their jets. Only time will tell which plants are really weeds; some may be wheat yet.
Mormons who fall back...
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