Sunday, July 29, 2007

Old Information, or, A Day Late and a Dollar Short

It's all been said before.

As I look back at the information I have before me I’m amazed at what I’ve missed over the past two years. Granted, I haven’t always been diligent, and until recently, have been unaware of what was really going on within the church, right under our noses, with the exception of a few quiet meetings that no one knew about until after the fact. Then when I began inquiring I got the most convoluted assortment of platitudes that I'm still shaking my head in bewilderment. But I’m getting better at sorting through the muddle and gradually piecing together the big picture.

I’m going to keep this personal, referrring only to what I have in front of me in terms of the black and white printed page and not rumors. I am also going to attempt to adhere to Ephesians 4: 29 (Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.) I ask your indulgence as I again march some of these puzzlements before all of us. And no, I do not ask that you who do agree with me go to the trouble of attempting to answer for others. I’m looking for truth, and truth can only come from those to whom these questions were and are posed.

On February 17, 2007, in reaction to the “Peace Committee” web page I stumbled across on the CoC site, I asked this question on the JCRB website: Is the JCRB still meeting with the CoC and making plans for a reconciliation? What progress is being made?

Answer: Some Restorationists (not thru the JCRB) meeting with some members of the CoC's Peace & Justice Committee early on identified that "reconciliation" did not mean "reunification." The idea was that these groups could sit down in a non-confrontational setting and dialogue with each other. One of the actions to come from this informal committee was a resolution that was submitted to the 2006 JCRB that would officially recognize the committee. The resolution did not come up for discussion last year and is still pending. The resolution has been modified a bit and will be resubmitted to the JCRB and submitted for the first time to the CoC. The outcome will be dependent upon the respective conferences.

Resolution TM-1 was not taken up at Conference this year. Yet on May 31, 2007, Brother Leutzinger wrote the letter to Stephen Veazey with the good news that a committee of seven had been picked by the Logistics Committee of the JCRB for the purpose of reconciliation with the CoC. For those who would say the reconciliation process is only for addressing the use of the RLDS name, and use of buildings, etc., let me remind you that those of us who have not chosen to take back the RLDS name and stand with the JCRB will be considered factions. Now we know what's in a name.

By whose authority?

As Brother Everett and others have so wisely observed, the Powers That Be of the JCRB seem to believe they speak for the whole church. But I'm not sure if they really believe that. I believe they don’t really care, and that they are speaking for themselves and to their own agenda, pushing aside common consent and the wishes of the church at large.

The wheels of the JCRB have been turning for years, and the reconciliation with the CoC has been in the works at least since the retreat at Odessa Hills Campground in 2005, probably long before that. Why all the secrecy and denial? Is this what we’re about? I have heard from many of you who are associated with the JCRB, and some of you I quite honestly believe are being misled. You people are godly men and women and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have nothing but what’s best for the church at heart. But secrecy and deceit in any quantity and at any level of an organization causes confusion and, ultimately, devastation. (Gal. 6:7) God wants more both for and from us. Why must we become embroiled in a power struggle among those who seek to exploit the office of priesthood, when it has nothing to do with who we really are and where we’re going? Why this race to the finish when the rules have been set by men and not God, and God gets left in the dust?

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