Rethinking the Community of Christ

I have recently been doing some research into the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).  Having examined their statement of faith, I find it quite orthodox.  You can find their statement of faith here.  One of the biggest barriers to protestants accepting the Church of Christ as orthodox is their continued use of the Book of Mormon.  That is a fair concern but we must be aware of the difference in belief in the Community of Christ as compared to the Utah Mormons.  Part of my research has been a discussion with Susan Skoor, who is one of the twelve apostles for the Community of Christ.  She had some things to say about the Book of Mormon that I believe Christians need to hear.

Concerning the Book of Mormon, we consider it scripture because, as stated above, it is a second witness of Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior. However, belief in the Book of Mormon is not a test of faith. There are many different stances members may take on the Book of Mormon. They range from embracing it for private devotionals and public preaching, to rejecting it entirely. In between are members who accept it as inspired writing, but do not claim that it is historical. Some believe it to be true in the same way a parable is true—that is, inspired stories that provide guidance and teach lessons, but are not factual. Some believe it is best understood in the context of the 1830’s in America, addressing prophetically many of the issues that were current in the society, political arena, and religious climate in which it was written.

I believe it is important for us to judge the Community of Christ, not based on our ignorance, but on the truth of what they actually believe.  Be watching for the article I recently wrote on the Community of Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Rethinking the Community of Christ”

  1. Thank you for your article. I am a member of the Community of Christ in El Cajon, California and grew up in the church. It means a lot to me that someone from the outside is willing to find out more information about us before they make a judgement. We are a Christ centered people who want to reach out to the world and make it a better place.

    Evelyn
    cofchristelcajon.wordpress.com

  2. I appreciate your openness, Mr. Bedard. I have studied the Book of Mormon and can site many truths in what I’ve read. If God is the source of truth and there is (at least in my view) truth there, then I can’t label the book as evil. As for historical accuracy, some things seem to line up with some of what science is discovering about the ancient Americas, but that’s not terribly important to me. As for the historical account of how the book came to be translated, that is not important to me at all…truth is. Truth can be revealed through Chuck Colson or Max Lucado, through hymn writers, through artists, through regular people testifying of how the hand of God has moved in their lives. In this case, the Community of Christ accepted these writings as truth and canonized them.

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