Back to This is Serious
What is Conflict Resolution within the Community of Christ?
I have waded though four web pages concerning Conflict Resolution within the CoC. You can find the pages at http://www.cofchrist.org/peacejustice/cr-terms.asp What can we deduce? I believe that the end of the last page answers the question. There is conflict within the CoC. The conflict boils down to what direction the leaders are trying to lead the people. There has been great conflict for almost twenty years within the church and from disenfranchised members who have withdrawn from the leaderships' direction. But things must be coming to a head now.
This is what Kenneth L. McLaughlin had to say in his article entitled
Everyday Issues of Integrity, by Kenneth A. McLaughlin,
Council of Twelve Apostles
from Herald Vol. 149 No. 2 pp.9-10
"I hope for a day when disruptive people in congregations and families are no longer-for the sake of kindness-permitted to do damage or dishonor to others. I envision a time when every one of us understands the reality of conflict and has the commitment-and the skill-to manage it."
What does this mean? Ever since Section
156 went into effect the church leaders have been using every
means at their disposal to squelch opposition. They have silenced
priesthood members of integrity. They have locked congregations
out of their own church buildings. And of course they have used
every facet of peer pressure available. I believe that Kenneth L.
McLaughlin, an apostle of the CoC is coming right out and saying
that anyone who speaks out against them will be punished. The
leaders of the CoC have denied the Holy Ghost, have dishonored
themselves and every church member. I hope and pray for the day
when they can no longer do this.
Now, back to Conflict Resolution, read the last page entitled "Do You Need Help?" http://www.cofchrist.org/peacejustice/cr-help.asp My comments are in blue. I have put some of their own words in bold to call your attention to the real heart of the conflict.
Conflicts between Church Members
Doctrinal/religious traditions - sexual orientation and leadership/priesthood, open Communion, acceptance of other Christian baptisms for church membership, role of priesthood vs. member, use of gifts of the Spirit
Translation: The CoC wants gays and lesbians ordained and married in the church. They want to continue ordaining women and they want to ordain homosexuals. They want to continue open communion. They want to change the rules of baptism into the church. Do they want to let non-priesthood members preach and do other duties of the priesthood members? How do they want to use the gifts of the Spirit?
Social - abortion, gun control, conscientious objection to military service, capital punishment, civil disobedience on matters of conscience, etc.
Does the CoC want the membership to vote in national, state and local issues as a block? The LDS pretty much does this. I think that a church should teach good sound morals and then leave it to the individual to make voting decisions. The reason we vote is because some issues are not clear cut. The church should not dictate to its membership.
Inclusivity - seniors, children, singles, divorced, widowed, gender, sexual orientation, race, class
Sexual orientation again. The church wants gays and lesbians to feel welcome and cherished in their unrepentance.
Worship - kinds of music, use of variety of instruments, clown ministry, dance, scheduling, types of services, location
I guess the CoC can just turn their places of worship into a circus.
Christian education - choice of curriculum, teachers, autonomy of teachers regarding activities and resources used
I think they don't want teachers teaching the scriptures. They are just folk stories, after all. All CoC teachers must teach the party line.
Conflict between/within Church Jurisdictional Levels
Administrative procedures - staffing
decisions, removing leaders, dealing with inactive
priesthood, roles and functions of various
administrative officers, budgetary concerns related to priority
setting and allocation of resources
Well, lets see now, how many male priesthood have been inactive for the simple fact that they were crowded out by aggressive women? And there are all those priesthood members who may have thrown up their hands and quit going to church. Better get rid of them.
Organizational - defining basic unit of church life, relations between various jurisdictional levels, competition for power and position, common consent vs. majority
Common consent vs. majority. Hmm. I thought the majority rule was common consent. Do they really mean leadership consent overpowering membership consent? Kind of like what happened in the Blue Springs Stake in 1987?
Doctrinal and worship issues (as noted in conflicts between church members)
Leader's style of leading and managing
Do the leaders of the CoC demand obedience to their wishes?
Ministerial authority - evangelizing vs. nurturing and assimilating new members; who, when, how are people brought into membership
This is the question again, why can't unrepentant sinners be welcomed into the church? Can't the CoC aggressively court the gay and lesbian population as potential members without having to preach repentance?
Dealing with power conflicts
Why, the whole thing is a power conflict! It is a conflict between good and evil.
Respectfully submitted by,
Copyright © 2001 Lois M.
Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: March 03, 2002