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Thou shalt have no other gods before me

an article by Lois M. Anderson

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
(John Chapter 15, Jesus Christ speaking)

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
(Exodus Chapter 19)

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
(Revelation Chapter 2)

You should read the story in Numbers chapters 25 and 31 to understand the doctrine of Balaam.

9a Verily, verily I say unto you, Darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.
9b Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth--a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation--and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
10a And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord.
10b First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.
(Doctrine and Covenants Section 105)

In 2002 one of the reports given to the world conference of the Community of Christ was H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report.

H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report

(H-8) "The most troublesome text for the Christian community regarding other religious traditions is to be found in Acts 4:12. This text makes exclusive claims to salvation through Jesus Christ and him alone. This text has tended to foster prejudice toward not only Jews but all other religious claims as well because of its exclusivity. This text is best understood within the context of the sermon preached by Peter in the company of John and others. It should not be universalized and become a framework for either missional or theological purposes."
 
(Community of Christ 2002 World Conference Bulletin pp. 75-78)

For my analysis of the report read Is the Community of Christ Removing Christ?
http://www.angelfire.com/la3/storyteller/serious/7.html

Speaking of Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Ever since I discovered H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report I have understood that the Community of Christ bares absolutely nothing of the heritage, beliefs, or spiritual authority of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The transformation began a long time ago, but first came to the attention of a some of us, such as myself, in 1984 with the false revelation to ordain women.  That was Section 156 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  The ordaining of women was a confusing issue for me, but we were warned by many vigilant watchmen that much more was to come.  Yes, it did indeed.  Soon began the upheaval of the church, those who wished to live by Restoration traditions were purged from the church by the leadership.  In 2002 the transformation was complete.  Two significant agendas became visible that year, first, the desire to bring openly homosexual people into the full life of the church, including priesthood, second, the denial of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. These two issues signaled the end of the institution being a Christian church.

Ever since that time I have pointed out continuously, much to the chagrin of members of the Community of Christ, these two glaring issues. I have been told H-8 is "just a study", and that I have taken the above quote completely out of context.  No, I know exactly what it says and exactly what it means.

  Why do I make a big deal out of this?

I make a big deal about this because members of the Community of Christ deny that they are no longer a Christian church.  They insist that they are simply transforming the church to suit our multi-faith world.  Some members truly believe they are Christian, even though they do not believe in the divinity of Christ.  They just plain don't believe, but somehow they feel that to sit in a pew makes them a Christian.  Well, at least those types of people are honest. What I have encountered mostly is the pretenders. They pretend to "proclaim Jesus Christ" while very carefully upholding all the reprehensible agendas of their institution.  They claim a common heritage with Restoration people and other Christians while at the same time "professing to know Christ's name and have not known Him, and have blasphemed against Him in the midst of His house."
(Paraphrased from Doctrine and Covenants Section 105)

Some Restoration folks just don't get it either.  They want to believe that we can cooperate somehow and interact as Christian brothers and sisters with an institution which only cynically uses Jesus Christ's name.

In my awareness of H-8 Interfaith Relations I have only  recently stumbled upon a new aspect of it.  I stumbled across an address to the 2005 Peace Colloquy.

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN MISSION IN A MULTIFAITH WORLD

JW Windland
Director, Encounter World Religions Centre
http://www.cofchrist.org/peacecolloquy/2005/windland.asp

And from there I found the website

ENCOUNTER World Religions Centre
http://www.worldreligions.ca/index.html

This organization is founded by JW Windland.  There is a Larry W. Windland listed as part of the committee for the infamous H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report. Same person? Relative?

I looked at each page of the website. I decided to see if Jesus Christ had any place on it at all.  I used the EDIT feature, and FIND which is in the toolbar of your browser. I found the word JESUS twice, once in  a negative context, once in a neutral context. I found none for CHRIST, but a smattering for CHRISTIAN.  Let us remember that the founder of this organization is on the staff of an institution which "Proclaims Jesus Christ".

To cut right to heart of the matter, here are two significant quotes from JW Windland in his address to the 2005 Peace Colloquy.  It is entitled

AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN MISSION IN A MULTIFAITH WORLD

"Christianity's monopoly on salvation is over."

"Non-Christian traditions must be recognized for what they are – fully franchised systems of salvation with practitioners as decent and devoted as any other, with scholars as intelligent and gifted as any other, with members as whole and holy as any other. Any model of authentic Christian mission in a multifaith world must acknowledge that"
http://www.cofchrist.org/peacecolloquy/2005/windland.asp

JW Windland's statements are flat out false.  Is the Encounter World Religions Centre in the least bit Christian?  Is it a place that Jesus Christ would want you to patronize?  Is it really the same as eating  things sacrificed unto idols, and committing spiritual fornication?  On the website they tell some things that they offer.

"One of our most popular offerings, Sacred Symbols is a visually stunning presentation of world religion symbols that lets you learn about religious traditions through their symbols, statues, clothing, prayer items and instruments."
http://www.worldreligions.ca/whatwedo/symbols.html

Be part of a multi-faith worship experience that celebrates the rituals and practices of the world's religions. This is not your ordinary worship service it utilizes the music, scriptures, prayers and ritual objects of the world's major religions. Be touched by the beauty of the sounds, the symbols and the written word of diverse traditions.
http://www.worldreligions.ca/whatwedo/wisdom.html
 

How does the Community of Christ support Encounter World Religions Centre?

Here is the last sentence of the H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report.

"* Continue support of the ENCOUNTER World Religions Centre as a World Church-sponsored peace and justice project."

In the minutes of the 2002 Community of Christ world conference there is this small item.

"Report of the Interfaith Relations Committee
President McMurray referred the assembly to Item H-8, Interfaith Relations Committee Report, on page 75. Larry Windland, a member of the committee, was recognized to speak to the report. There was some discussion."
(Minutes of the Community of Christ 2002 world conference)

Oh, I think I finally get the significance of the effort to take this study to the conference floor. There was "some discussion".  Probably a great many people didn't even understand it.  But understand the last sentence, "Continue support of the ENCOUNTER World Religions Centre as a World Church-sponsored peace and justice project."

We can see that Encounter World Religions Centre received some funding from the Community of Christ in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Tangible Love Projects Funded
1999–2008

"ENCOUNTER WORLD’S RELIGIONS (First Canadian Mission, Canada) A peace and justice resource project for interreligious education and dialogue. (2000, 2001, 2002)
http://www.cofchrist.org/tlove/history-projects.asp

"Tangible Love grants are supported through the church's Oblation Fund."
http://www.cofchrist.org/tlove/default.asp


Tangible Love Funding History
Financial Summary
http://www.cofchrist.org/tlove/history-financial.asp


JW Windland is also listed in the Community of Christ staff directory.
http://www.cofchrist.org/directory/allstaffM_Z.asp

Here is a question, has funding for Encounter World's Religions Centre been put into the Community of Christ budget beginning in 2002?  I see two likely places where it could be included in the budget.

Special Projects 300,000
Grants to Other Organizations 315,000

http://www.cofchrist.org/worldministries/08budgetReport/summary.asp

What is Christ's Definition of Diversity?

The Community of Christ prides themselves in their claim for accepting diversity.  All the new programs which are alien to the scriptures are done in the name of accepting diversity.  For them diversity means any belief system, and any sexual orientation.  The world's definition has become the embracing of the world's many carnal sins.

People who believe in the scriptures recognize that there are different concepts of diversity. When I first began hearing the word "diversity" I thought of all races, men and women and children, and different gifts given to us from God.  Isn't it strange how a word can mean such different things to different people? 

Speaking of Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12 says,

"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

That means for everyone, people!

"110 And, again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things;
111 For whoso doeth them shall perish; for none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men;
112 And he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men;
113 And he inviteth them all to come unto him, and partake of his goodness;
114 And he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female;
115 And he remembereth the heathen, and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."
(2 Nephi Chapter 11)

"187 And the Lord said unto me, Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men, and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again;
188 Yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; and thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God.
189 I say unto you, Unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off."
(Mosiah Chapter 11)

Remember

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
 


Lois M. Anderson---I was baptized into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1958 by my father, who was a priest. I was confirmed by an evangelist-patriarch. In 1988 I walked out of my local congregation. I knew that soon it would not even resemble the church into which I was baptized. While others may pine to reconcile with the Community of Christ in order to attempt to regain the warm and comforting feeling we once had in the traditional church, I will stay apart from all congregations who do not resemble the church which Jesus Christ restored. With God's help I will endure to the end and my prayer is that many others will endure also.


Copyright 2009 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
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Last revised: March 23, 2009

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