Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Common Consent

I’ve been playing with the term “common consent” ever since my branch sent two members as “delegates” to a conference of the JCRB a year or so ago without the church body’s knowledge. Water under the bridge.

Section 25 in the Doctrine and Covenants makes it quite clear and I would like to address it in regard to the JCRB now. To refresh your memories: Section 25:1 b.—And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.

No brainer, right? Wrong. The JCRB meetings which have been going on in secret for years do not even begin to consider common consent. In fact, they speak more to priestcrafts and secret combinations, documented in Scripture. These meetings have also been well documented by Richard Price in Vision Magazine, and others. I can only hope that thinking saints have read these articles.

More recently, the RLDS name has been cropping up, and even now there are negotiations afoot with the CoC to try and get the name back. Fine. But at the risk of kicking a dead horse, a question still remains, and nobody seems to be willing or able to answer it.

To give a little history, everyone got all twitterpated a couple of months ago when an announcement appeared in a Kansas City paper announcing use by the Restoration of the RLDS name. I posted the question on the Center Place discussion board and you all know what happened then. The following is the email from Rudy Leutzinger to a sister in Christ (yes, a personal email) written sometime around the end of May or beginning of June, which she then posted on another discussion board, and which is now pretty much in everyone’s email archives. I shall go through it point by point. Even though it was not sent to me, it concerns us all:

We began using the name two weeks ago.
Who began using it? His branch? The RLDS? The entire church?

There have been two advertisements in the paper so far The POZ have drafted a new advertisement that has been forwarded to the branches that incorporates the name in it. It will probably appear sometime in June.
I’m not privy to all Center Place happenings. Did the Advertisement appear in June?

The CoC has not granted permission but they have not disputed our claim that we have a right to use the name. If there is a law suit, they will initiate it. (I, for one, hope that there is some kind of legal action. Our case is very strong.)
What am I missing here?

We are looking to negotiate several things with the CoC including the use of the name. These talks will begin in earnest this summer. I do not care to say more at this point but will be happy to keep everyone advised as news comes.
Okay, advise away.

Why claim the name? In two court cases, the RLDS church was recognized as the successor to the original church of 1830. I was baptized into that church and ordained under its authority. Twenty years from now, people will look back on this time in the history of the church and realize that the RLDS church is still the legal and spiritual successor--especially after the CoC revelation of 2007.
Does anyone have access to the CoC revelation of 2007? If so, please post it here.

Any other organization will be viewed as a faction.
By whom, Bro Rudy? By you? By your branch? By the JCRB? By the church at large?

You see, folks, I don’t remember voting on any of this. I don’t remember my church joining the JCRB and being subject to the new hierarchy. I don’t remember being a part of the meetings which have been taking place for years among the branches who have chosen to run ahead of the precepts of the Church and set up their own little kingdom. I don’t remember anything about common consent. If, indeed, common consent was utilized way back when the JCRB was forming, does that mean that those who voiced their opposition are now being punished? I don’t believe that’s what our Lord had in mind.

Which brings me to a question posed on the JCRB website on 7/01/07 asking whether it was true that the JCRB was using the RLDS name on its letterhead. The answer follows:

Thus far, use of the RLDS name has been limited. The letterhead of the Joint Conference of Branches does not currently contain the name. A committe has been appointed to discuss this subject with the CoC. The earliest use of the RLDS name will likely be in reference to and at the National Conference in the fall.

Either the name was being used in the middle of May or it was not. Which is it? Why did he say they had started using it and then state it was not being used? Why the forked tongue?

Much is being said about the JCRB allowing THE PEOPLE a voice in the issues. Not so. The only PEOPLE who have a voice are the PEOPLE who have joined the JCRB and are now brainwashed enough to be blind to what is really happening. I have received several emails from JCRB elders in reply to my posts on the Center Place discussion board, bemoaning the fact that they wish everyone would join the conference. When I replied that I saw a very clear split in the church because of the JCRB the emails stopped. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To allow the free exchange of ideas without the fear of being censored. To be able to say that yes, there is a split. To be able to ask questions of all you people out there, who went through this just a couple of decades ago and who see clearly what is happening.

There is no room for a pride or arrogance or deception in the Restoration Church. Why, then, is it so blatant in Independence?

1 comment:

Brother Ev said...

Seeker --

Oh no, here we go with common consent.

This is always a matter of great debate. The last time I saw anything about common consent it involved the JCRB declaring that all things would be done by common consent. I then posted a number of questions to Rudy, one asking him what the JCRB's definition of common consent was. If memory serves correctly, he declared that he could not define common consent for the JCRB or words to that effort.

Surprisingly, I understood that answer. It seems that there are a multitude of defintions and nobody seems able to give us an "is that your final answer" definition.

Some believe that it is 50.1% of the voting group. Others believe it is 2/3 of the voters. And some others believe it is 100% agreement/vote. Take your pick, or pick any percentage - it just seems that no one has been able to finalize what Church Scriptures mean when we talk about "common consent".

I feel it is of paramount importance that when someone declares they wish to have matters settled by common consent, they should precisely define their understanding of what it means.

How can any group or person declare they are using common consent when they don't even have a written/stated definition for what it is?

Seeker, I truly appreciate your comments about "voice and vote". Yes, the people are given a form of voice and vote in the JCRB but in its present form very much of it is after the fact, i.e. after Conference action has been taken. It is extremely difficult for the people to undo what has been done on the conference floor. Can happen, but quite unlikely that a number of branches will even adequately discuss what has already been passed on the conference floor. Also, resolutions that are turned down are not sent to the branches for discussion -- why not, it was the delegates who turned them down, not every single member of the JCRB?

For an organization that was not involved, or not interested in the RLDS name, the JCRB certainly is going to great lengths to continue the effort to obtain, use or discuss the use of, the name. Either you are involved in that effort or you aren't. If you are involved when did the voice and vote of the people (ALL of them) direct the effort?

Actually, it doesn't matter if the people voted for it or not --- either the leaders of the JCRB are involved in the process or they aren't. In this case, they very clearly ARE (and have been) involved. Which seems kind of strange when you think that a few months ago a few branches were seeking to obtain/use the name, but no one from the JCRB was involved. Or were they?

brother Ev