Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Name for the Church

Following a new thread on one of the discussion boards has raised some questions, but as usual provided few lucid answers. The central issue over the name has several parts, not the least, the prospect of corporate protection of names by the Community of Christ. Someone wisely pointed out that names which may come into common usage need to be legally protected against the prospect of future use. Bodies, be they secular or spiritual, ignore names at their peril. If you want to see a storm of biblical proportions, name it the Church of Coca Cola. Moroni never faced an army equivalent to the phalanxes of lawyers that would descend on that action. The corporate wrath from Atlanta to protect that name would cover us like an ice age glacier.

Our zeal to capture every spiritual nuance of the faith in a corporate identity is laudable but unnecessary. We already have it: The Restored Church of Jesus Christ. But, you say, what about RLDS? That name has been corrupted, ignored, defamed and ground into the dirt by secular activists within the ranks over a period of several decades. They have chosen to defame its noble origins and water it down to nothingness. It has come to represent doctrinal strife and deviation. It’s the same as “Democrat” (defined by some as “mob rule”) party members wishing the change to “Democratic” (implying equality.)

To my knowledge, our current name carries no historical baggage; it describes our purpose, and is fairly brief and very easily understood. So what’s the problem? If the Community of Christ wants to play “dog in the manger” with names, let them. I can’t believe that God approves of that sort of petty behavior but it’s up to Him and not me to deal with that.

It was not what you were baptized into umpty-leven years ago. You came to Jesus Christ, not a body of believers or a quaint little building off in the woods. Even the name RLDS ignores Jesus Christ unless you use the complete name, which is unlikely. Why in the world are we wasting all this time chasing a memory when we could devote our time and efforts toward bringing others to Jesus Christ? We have what we need right now. We have the three books (CRE resolutions notwithstanding,) a full infusion of God’ spirit, and co-religionists who are the crème-de-la-crème of true believers. Let us get on with the work of Kingdom building and establishing Zion. God doesn’t need a name and a ZIP code to find us.

In His abundant love,

Cecil Moon


Joy said...

The CRE did NOT eliminate any of the three standard books! Would you like a claification about that issue? I thought I had addressed this before..but perhaps I only meant to do it and then forgot.

Seeker said...

CRE 2007 Resolution 5

The entire issue contained in the final resolution passed by the CRE was shaky from the beginning. Some in the group had wanted to reaffirm the scriptures but substitute the Book of Commandments for the Doctrine and Covenants. This issue was defeated very narrowly by a vote of 4l for vs. 43 against. No thinking person can interpret this as complete support for the inclusion of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The resolution as passed read as follows:

"Whereas, GCR 222 relates the importance of using the Inspired Version and The Book of Mormon,

Resolved, we affirm our belief in the divine authenticity of the Inspired Version and The Book of Mormon."

At the least, the body is guilty of failing to clarify the issue of what constitutes our complete canon of scripture. The excuse that it was included in a previous General Conference Resolution begs the question of whether the other two were not also mentioned. Is this holy work not also worthy of reconfirmation?

Although the delegates were aware of the differences in approach by the Community of Christ to the two books mentioned in the resolution, the Doctrine and Covenants comes closer to truly identifying our schism. The end result comes off appearing to not include any endorsement of the D & C. I fully realize that there is a legitimate discussion on where exactly the D & C should end as the inspired word of God. If we are to continue with it, and we must, that determination should be made.

As a member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ it would be impossible to conduct any in depth study without a full appreciation of the contribution of and interaction of all three books to our faith. I find the resolution unconvincing as support for the Doctrine and Covenants which I believe to be the revealed word of God.

Am I touchy about this subject? You can bet your lungs I am. I found the handling of this issue guilty of the grossest disrespect to our scriptures. They are my guides (all three) to the will of my Savior.

In His abiding love

Cecil Moon

P.S. If the above commenter believes she is privy to the inside scoop to this matter as she seems to be to every other issue facing the Restoration today then perhaps she can explain why the resolution is so deceptively worded.


defoog said...

"dog in the manger"
"co-religionists who are the crème-de-la-crème of true believers"

Would you care to expand on these two. I've seen several use this dog in the manger phrase, never in any context that seems consistent; so I am not sure what you (anyone who has used it) mean.

I'm curious who are considered the crème-de-la-crème of true believers. Generally the crème-de-la-crème is rather easy to identify and fairly universally agreed. If there are such a collection of believers I am wondering why they aren't identified more clearly and why there is not a clamoring to follow them.

God doesn’t need a name and a ZIP code to find us. Of this I am relatively certain.


Joy Muir said...

Dear Cecil,
This is how it was explained to me by a number of elders I questioned about your comments.

Because of the later 'revelations' in the D&C that we do NOT accept they did not want to give a blanket thumbs up but chose to handle it as they did.
There are a number of sections after which various people will not accept the 'revelations'. I am not sure if there is a definative date for the majority. And there is always that issue about BoC...or D&C. But there was NOT a rejection of the book..whatever you may chose to call it.

All the priesthood members I know use the THREE standard books.In fact we just had a WONDERFUL weekend of classes with Doug Patterson all about the importance of the COVENANT...and there was MUCH emphasis on the D&C.

Please understand I am not trying to change your mind..just sharing what I found out when I asked about this matter. Since I am not allowed to vote (smile)I do not always attend the CRE sessions and after reading your concern about this issue I decided to find out from the men who had attended what it was all about.

Seeker said...

In answer to Mr. or Ms Defoog, who chooses to remain anonymous, I am posting the following written by Cec, who has far more patience than I:

The “dog in the manger” refers to a perverse animal (normally a dog) found around the horse barn who persists in using the horse’s manger as a bed. The hay is soft, the oats aromatic and the dog has no interest in the consumption of either. By his occupation of the manger, he deprives the horse of its use to no possible benefit to himself. Soft beds are plentiful in horse barns. Therefore one who holds a thing or place of value with no intention of using it to the deprivation of others is so described.

First let us establish that I do not include myself in the “crème-de-la-crème.” In my mind I envisioned those who have remained absolutely faithful as their knowledge permits and their faith dictates to the original and clearly stated goals of building the Kingdom of God. They seek nothing other than the will of God. They also carry the faith forward in every daily activity. Universally, Jesus Christ is the central figure in their lives and daily activities. It is my extreme privilege to know people who fit this description.

The reason these people are seldom followed is the same as the reason we often fail to follow Christ. We are men. We err. We allow our own selfish interests to interfere with the work of the Kingdom. Ideally, we would all follow the Master as closely as possible. Some do a better job than others.

We are generally too self-absorbed to fully understand the faith of others. Since they are not ruled by self-aggrandizement, they do not seek attention to themselves or lofty positions. They are rarely the richest, the most popular or the most highly educated but they project an inner glow of happiness that is priceless.

In His abundant love,

Cecil Moon

defoog said...

thank you for the dog in the manger explanation.
that is the umpteenth i have heard and i must admit i still am having trouble making it make sense in the context you used it. but i don't really have a dog in that fight so how can i see or apprecicate the dog in the manger?
from the outside looking in, it would seem that the coc own the dog and the manger horse for that matter and are making full use of all them.
i had friend once whose name was robyn and she moved a couple of states away. after she moved she called me one day and announced herself as trish. i asked why she called herself tracy and she said that there were three other women in her work place named rob(bin, byn,in,yn)and she got tired of the confusion and she thought the name trish would help her in her new job, to make a name for herself as her own person, not to be confused with any other robins.

i think creme de la creme is more recognizable than you suggest...some identities would be interesting. true creme de la creme is more than perception.
for all i know....or you for that matter....i might be floating near the top.

anything but anonymous,