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Is the Community of Christ Removing Christ?

The 2002 World Conference of the Community of Christ is over and done. One of the reports given to the conference was H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee. There was "some discussion" at its presentation. That is all we are told in the conference minutes. What kind of discussion did they have? Did they raise the roof of the auditorium in outrage? I believe the roof of the auditorium is still intact. Continue to read this article in order to see just why the members of the Community of Christ should have raised their voices, but apparently didn't.

http://www.cofchrist.org/wc2002/legislation/4-12Minutes.asp

"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."

You can find the complete report at http://www.cofchrist.org/wc2002/legislation/H8.asp  (It is possible that this is only available now in the Community of Christ 2002 World Conference Bulletin pp. 75-78, see update at bottom of this article.)

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."

Ladies and gentlemen, the above excerpt from the Interfaith Relations Committee Report, is the heart, the meat, the kernel of this whole report. The next big push is very likely to be to get rid of Jesus Christ.

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."

All our beloved scriptures, which the Community of Christ leaders have been slowly trying to wean the members away from, all make Jesus Christ the center of our existence. Without Jesus Christ there is no salvation. This is the very basis of our faith. They wish to take this away from the people. This is anti-Christ. When they have succeeded in doing this, then the transformation from "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" will have been completed to the Church of Satan.

Revelation 3:4 "And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear."

If the effort to remove Jesus Christ from us is not of blasphemy and of Satan, then I don't know what is.

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The rest of the excerpts will be given in the order in which they appear in the original document. The above excerpt will be given again in its original place in the document. I will present my comments on each set of excerpts.

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(H-8) "For many decades the church labored under the identity of "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:5e)."

In the Position Papers, written and presented in the late 60s, the church leaders put in print that they no longer considered the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ to be the church which God had restored to the earth.

THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH
A Study Paper Prepared for the
Curriculum Consultation Committee
Prepared by the Department
of Religious Education
October, 1967

(page 12) "we cannot affirm there being the kind of "true" church which makes all others "false" churches. Nor can we affirm today that this is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth with which . . .the Lord (is) well pleased. (D. & C. 1:5)"

"[Sec 1:5a] Behold, I am God, and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding;
[Sec 1:5b] and inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; and inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
[Sec 1:5c] and inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; and inasmuch as they were humble, they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time;
[Sec 1:5d] and after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., might have power to translate, through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon;
[Sec 1:5e] and also those to whom these commandments were given might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity, and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I the Lord am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually;
[Sec 1:5f] for I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
[Sec 1:5g] and he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received, for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts."


They have given up their sacred role. For each person, "he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received."


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(H-8) "A survey of forty years of the Herald revealed thirty-two articles that contribute to the growing voice for interfaith relations."

Let's do some math, ladies and gentlemen. Math has never been my fine suit, but even I know that 12 issues for 40 years makes 480 issues of the Herald. Out of 480 issues they are putting a great deal of weight on 32 articles. Give me a break! Is that what they call a "growing voice"?

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(H-8) "Members of the Interfaith Relations Committee affirm that membership, or affiliation on some basis, with the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America and/or the World Council of Churches, would greatly facilitate the Community of Christ's active participation in interreligious activities through dialogue and utilization of these organizations' resources."

Yes, they want to join the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. Duh! This has been planned for a long time. Here is an excerpt from

"The World Church: Our Mission in the 1980's" Commission magazine, September, 1979, pages 45-46. by Apostle Clifford Cole.

"Our attitude toward opportunities to join as a Christian force with such bodies as the World Council of Churches will increasingly become affirmative because God is calling us to shed our light abroad rather than hide it "under a bushel" (Matthew 5:17) Local and national jurisdictions will find opportunities to share with organizations and Christian councils in the jurisdictions to further the cause of Christ."

At this 2002 World Conference there are several pieces of legislation calling for the church to join these organizations. I wonder if Clifford Cole could have envisioned that it does not appear that the church wishes to further the cause of Christ, but indeed, hide Christ under a bushel.

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(H-8) "provide a forum for examining religious exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism, and the implications of each for a global community;"

Yes, in the Presidential Papers we as a church were accused basically of snootiness and thinking we were better than everyone else.

PAPER #3 THE IDENTITY OF THE CHURCH
First Presidency Meetings
January 9, 1979
1:45 p.m.

(page 13) "Since persons in other institutions do not meet the qualifications to function authoritatively within our institution, it is the tendency of some persons to conclude that other institutions have no authority to represent God. This is a dangerous conclusion which borders on the spirit of arrogance"

That is one way to look at it. Some of us feel that God has given us a great responsibility to be guardians and teachers of the truth. How do you feel about it?

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(H-8) "Some scriptural texts can be interpreted inappropriately to foster prejudice toward other faith traditions. Notwithstanding the fact that many scriptures can also be utilized to support positive interfaith relations, it is important to confess that some passages have been used for negative ends by people who have an antagonistic agenda in relation to other faith communities."

(H-8) "Some passages in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants appear to be grounded in the notion of the "one true church" with an implied agenda of "conversion." Language is often negatively judgmental regarding Jews, "that great church, which is the mother of abominations" (often understood as the Roman Catholic Church), Protestant groups (mostly their professional ministry), and nonbelievers. The church's production of educational resources has not usually taken note of these texts. The passages in question include I Nephi 3:139-144, 167-172, 220-232; I Nephi 7:49-53; II Nephi 11:24-26, 90-92, II Nephi 12:3-4,14; Mosiah 11:105-109; Alma 6:12-14; Alma 21:34-45; III Nephi 12:13-22; D. and C. 18:3c; D. and C. 45:9a,b; D. and C. 74:2,3; and D. and C. 83:4f. Fortunately, none of these texts has had significant claim on the attention of the church and has not been cited in recent times in support of the church's mission. They remain part of the scriptural heritage of the Community of Christ, however."

(H-8) "In the New Testament several texts in the Gospel of John and Paul's letters contain material that, if interpreted outside the contextual argument of the literary structure of the text, could be construed to be prejudicial toward the Jewish people. Also, the modern-day church must deal with the sermon text of Peter reported by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles that claims that there is salvation in no one else but Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)."

The leaders of the church who now call themselves the Community of Christ have been working on chucking the scriptures for quite some time now. This is another excuse. Getting rid of the scriptures means that they can write a whole new scenario. As they themselves have said, "In fact, there are no roads".

Presidential Paper #2 THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH
First Presidency Meetings
January 9, 1979
10:30 a.m.

(p. 8) "the church is called into a new country where the landscape is strange and the road maps have not even been printed. In fact, there are no roads, but dim paths are beginning to appear."

Up Front, Peter A. Judd, of the First Presidency
Herald, Vol. 149 No. 2, February, 2002, p.5

"As a church, we are called to journey along this road of discipleship. We are called to go deeper in our commitment, to fix our eyes "on the place beyond the horizon"(D. and C. 161:1a), a place that is not now visible to us. Such a commitment will require us to move forward with God beyond our comfort zones, to be willing to become a new and transformed people."

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(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."

Here again is the excerpt that I presented at the beginning of this article. Read it carefully. If you can come up with a different interpretation than I have then I am not sure where you learned how to read.

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(H-8) "While the scriptures talk about the hope of redemption, especially in Isaiah and Psalms, the teaching that only Jesus can fulfill this hope is obviously not accepted by the Jewish people. Also, the notion of "replacement theology" or supersessionism assumes that the Christian church has taken over God's covenant and promises given to Israel. This idea robs the Hebrew scriptures of their integrity as a history of God's actions for and with Israel. Beyond that, a result of this teaching has been directly related to a teaching of disdain for Jews, which has led many Christians to do violence against Jews for nearly two millennia. The murder of Jews by the perpetrators of the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust are horrifying examples. The supersessionist reading of the Hebrew scriptures must be avoided if we sincerely desire to understand each other and our calling to build good interfaith relations. A positive reading of the Hebrew scriptures would be to see these writings as foundational proclamation of faith for both Christians and Jews."

There it is again, the leaders are telling us that we cannot rely on the scriptures.

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(H-8) "The history of the Community of Christ, as well as the church's present experience, provides many examples of others people's misunderstanding of who we are, sometimes to the point of intolerance, exclusion, and persecution. Our history tells stories of massacres, imprisonment, and exiles. Many members of our faith tradition have been verbally or physically persecuted for nothing more than religious differences. This fact speaks loudly to the necessity for members of the Community of Christ to empathize with others who are misunderstood and persecuted."

This statement here, what can I say? Guffaw! Who have the leaders of the Community of Christ been verbally or physically persecuting for nothing more than religious differences? Ever since Section 156, and even before that, when the church membership began to understand what was happening, the members who have stood up for their traditional beliefs have been persecuted by the leadership.

Everyday Issues of Integrity, by Kenneth A. McLaughlin, Council of Twelve Apostles from Herald Vol. 149 No. 2 pp.9-10

"I dream of a time in the church when each of us can passionately live out and share our views without fear of criticism or recourse. I dream of a time when peace is not lived out as if walking on eggshells. 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."

That is verbal abuse against the Restoration saints. Kicking congregations out of their church buildings for opposing the leaders is physical abuse. Silencing honest priesthood men is verbal and physical abuse.

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(H-8) "Consider applying for denominational membership status in interreligious organizations such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Parliament of the World's Religions, etc."

The recommendation is that the Community of Christ join these organizations forthwith.

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(H-8) "Of special concern is the avoidance of inappropriate interpretation of scriptures that could foster prejudice."

The recommendation is that the Community of Christ use only the scriptures which further their agenda.

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(H-8) "Wayne Ham (chair)"

I mention this name not to single out this person. I mention this name because he is one of the authors of the Position Papers.

THE NEW CURRICULUM: PROJECTED PRECEDURES AND SCHEDULING
Prepared by the Church School Division,
Department of Religious Education
September, 1967

(page 2) "Since the World Conference of 1966, preliminary discussions concerning this project have taken place within the framework of the Church School Division. Members of the Division, together with the Director of Religious Education, form the Basic Working Committee. These personnel are Donald Landon, Department Director; Geoffrey Spencer, Director of the Church School Division; Vernone Sparks, Editor of Adult Material; Wayne Ham, Editor of Youth Materials; Edna Easter, Editor of Children's Materials. This committee has executive responsibility for the initiating, planning, developing, and producing of the new curriculum."

When some Restorationists began discussing the Position Papers in the not too distant past, we were told by CoC people that the Position Papers were only study papers, etc. etc. written by 1960s flakes! This was to give the impression that the Position Papers meant nothing. I beg to differ. The Position Papers began the transition of the church. They were followed by the Presidential Papers. Now there are supposedly 91 pages of new papers meant to guide the church.

Up Front, Peter A. Judd, of the First Presidency Herald, Vol. 149 No. 2, February, 2002, p.5

"One area of concern that was uppermost in our minds had its beginnings early in 2001. The First Presidency knew that the 2002 world Conference would be the time to speak of where we felt God was leading the church in the years to come. At the May Council sessions, it was decided that we would solicit suggestions from church leaders and members. We put into place a plan that would use reunions and other appropriate settings to ask the church questions that included, "What do you yearn for the Community of Christ to achieve in the next five years?" and "What specific things would you like the church to do as expressions of the Path of the Disciple?"

By the end of August we had received numerous responses and the results were summarized in a ninety-one-page document. In early September a planning group met for a day to review the material and organize it for world Church Leadership Council discussion later that month. At those meetings a first draft of goals was prepared and circulated to selected field and headquarters staff for reaction."

This has been well planned and vigorously carried out.

I will continue to worship Jesus Christ. He is my savior. Jesus Christ has said,

Matthew 10:29 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Respectfully submitted,
Lois


Update September 2004

When I wrote this article the CofC had the paper H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report  on their website at http://www.cofchrist.org/wc2002/legislation/H8.asp  Since then I believe that it has been taken off their website. But the report can still be read in the 2002 World Conference Bulletin pp. 75-78.  A short time ago I was chided on the Centerplace Discussion Board by a CofC seventy who lives in the Independence area. He chided me, "as delicately as possible..." for putting the links to issues concerning the CofC and the Restoration saints on the board.  It was suggested that my strategy was backfiring on me, that people were flocking to the websites in order to see what wonderful things were happening in the CofC. But I believe that that man was simply trying to intimidate me. I answered him that I was glad that people were going to the sites to read for themselves.

Lois Anderson June 8, 2004

"Delicately put I'm sure that this paragraph was referring to me. And I don't mind. I want you to know that I positively do have ill feelings toward the CofC! But I will also positively say that there are many, many people still in the CofC who I care about very much. I know that many of them are hurting and even confused still about what has happened to a once beautiful church.

When people read my posts, and similar posts from others, I am glad that they are going to your website to check it out. That is the very reason that I always put the URLs in my posts. You see, I went to college. It was drummed into my head that you do not just talk off the top of your head. You better know what you are talking about. So I juxtaposition my beliefs from the scriptures against the CofC beliefs which are public for anyone to see. There have many times when I posted something about the CofC and was instantly called a liar, in so many words. Two women tried to have me kicked off this board for perjury. But they couldn't because I had backed it up.

Now, you say that my strategy has backfired! I don't think so and I don't believe most of the things that you say anyway. If people investigate the CofC and decide that they like what they see, that is good for them. God gave us our agency. I just want everyone to look hard and long and know what they are choosing. It has consequences to their souls.

Respectfully,
Lois "

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H-8 Interfaith Relations Committee Report is the most damning piece of written material I have ever seen come from the Community of Christ. There has been much written material for over thirty years coming from the upper echelons of the church in which the Restoration beliefs were trodden down. The CofC is between a rock and a hard spot. How do they accomplish their goals while keeping them a secret at the same time?

There are possible reasons why this report has vanished from their website.  Let's consider some possible reasons.

1) It is old news, from 2002, relegated to the dusty archives. If this is the common routine the CofC leaders must be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

2) They can't afford the space on their website anymore. The Restoration saints have managed to put on-line the three standard books of the scriptures, four church history volumes, and numerous other books and historical periodicals.

3) They have repudiated the paper. I don't think so. The chair of this committee, as I pointed out above, was also partly responsible for the Position Papers. To my knowledge he has never been silenced from his priesthood office and holds a nice job at the church's university. He teaches World Religions at Graceland University. 

4) They have finally realized that putting such material on the internet gives people the real chance to understand the goals of the CofC. The Position Papers of 1968 and the Presidential Papers of 1979 were damning and were not meant for the eyes of the church members. They were only meant for the people whose task and desire was to destroy the church. Is this another case in which hopefully the saints will forget what they have read?

Respectfully submitted,
Lois M. Anderson


Copyright 2001 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: September 22, 2004

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