The Community of Christ: Some Brief Thoughts
While I have decided to stay LDS, I have in recent years gained a great love of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Community of Christ advocates global peace and social justice without apology. Being a liberal member of the CoC is mainstream and not in anyway radical…in the way it may seem within LDS culture.
I also love the CoC focus on Christ-like communities on earth. In what seems consistent with liberal theology, the Commmunity of Christ is more worried about human well-being in this life than salvation in the next. This perspective drives their commitment to social justice.
For many not content with Mormonism, and I may be wrong about this, narratives of Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon are a sticking point. However, my postmodern approach to faith finds value in these narratives within their context. This approach may fall outsiide the LDS Mainstreamm, but it is also the reason I stick with Mormonism. I very much appreciate that the Community of Christ maintain an appreciation for elements of the Restoration movement with their own flavor.
Of course, I might just think that anything associated with John Hamer is awesome. Well…that can’t be a bad reason.
As a former CofC member now part of the LDS church, I relish opportunities to discuss my views on the similarities and differences… Not that I always agree with those I’m in discussion with… But I have found that dispelling myths about the CofC is one of the things I have been called to do… I am continually surprised at how, when an LDS person knows of the CofC, what they “know” about that faith community are way off base.
Just curious, am I off? Or do you mean that LDS comments about the CoC are generally off?
Not sure you are “off” at all, but I would say you brought to the table all the prime cuts of what the CofC is about… I guess if I was more about the prime cuts I would still be part of that movement, eh? I guess I would wonder why someone so blessed with an LDS experience and/or testimony would ever longingly look upon the CofC in any fashion. I do, at times, but more because of my many relationships and memories and traditions and heritage, but also, in the same breath I know I would walk away again in a heartbeat when presented with the LDS faith ad an alternative….
Oh, and my apologies for the horrendous grammatical error in my last sentence above… Wow… Apparently I fail at subject/verb agreement.
And yes, I meant that members of the LDS church usually have varied and extremely skewed “knowledge” of CofC beliefs and practices.
” I guess I would wonder why someone so blessed with an LDS experience and/or testimony would ever longingly look upon the CofC in any fashion.”
Sure…but you read MSP?
Not so much that I longingly look at the Community of Christ…more that I value them as great friends and allies.
First time I’ve ever read an entry on MSP… Accidentally followed it on twitter, found things interesting (though I don’t agree with them) and then stumbled here after the link was posted tonight. Sorry.
I admit that I don’t know a lot about the CofChrist, despite its being the closest group to the LDS church…and posts like this (as well as FireTag’s posts at Wheat & Tares) only reinforce some of the unfamiliarity.
I guess I’m just not really jazzed about joining things.
It’s my impression that the aspects of Mormonism that people like vs. hate vary wildly from one person to the next. The Community of Christ is fantastic for people who want to be part of a faith community, but don’t feel inspired by the authoritarian aspects of the CoJCoL-dS (correlation, patriarchy, rigid hierarchy, etc.)
I think that there are a lot of people who feel a connection with JS, the BoM, and other aspects of their Mormon faith tradition, yet would rather be in a church that is more worried about human well-being in this life than salvation in the next and has a commitment to social justice. Whenever I find someone in that category, I recommend they check out the CofC. 🙂
I’ve been trying to get him to write us a post about the CofC, so I’m glad you’ve taken the opportunity. Are you joining the CofC as well?
p.s. to any other John Hamer fans: check out this Star Trek parody we did. (I should really upload the rest of the episodes…)
I think my social/communitarian inclination has lead me to appreciate the value of congregation and coalition. (I knowI knowI often am ANTI-social)
I can see this myself, sometimes. What I mean is I find myself reconsidering from a theoretical perspective more social/community/network-based approaches…but on a personal level, I often find these things anathema to my very personality. I will eschew direct shameless blog self-promotion at this time in favor of this indirect message.