Community of Christ and Salvation

Since my article on embracing the Community of Christ into orthodoxy came out, I have had a few people question me (respectfully) on this.  Their main concern, as was mine, was the fact that the Book of Mormon is still considered scripture by the Community of Christ.  I would like to respond to this.

Two things need to be understood with regard to the Book of Mormon.  First of all, the radical Mormon doctrines do not appear in the Book of Mormon.  In fact, there is very little theology in it.  While Jesus does appear, not much is said about his nature.  Secondly, in the Community of Christ, unlike the LDS, the Book of Mormon does not supersede  the Bible.  Their theology is very much based on the Bible.

More than this, however, we must ask what is the basis of salvation?  Is having the proper limits of biblical canon a requirement for salvation?  What do we say about our Roman Catholic and Orthodox friends?  What do we say about those early Christians who accepted books like the Gospel of Peter, Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas?  We may not agree with the Book of Mormon, but if the Community of Christ accepts the Trinity, incarnation, and salvation by grace, it is hard to say that they are not Christian.

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4 thoughts on “Community of Christ and Salvation”

  1. I think Paul provides some direction when he states he is determined to hold primary: Jesus Christ and Him crucified. So if a person regards the atoning blood of the eternal Son as their redemption, the rest is intramural. Important, but not enough to disqualify one from the Lamb’s book of life. Many of us will enter in with partial or errant belief about serious issues of life, but knowing Him is eternal life (John 17:3). When they asked Him “What must we do to work the work of God?” – He answered simply “Believe in the one He has sent”. (John 6:29). Grace to you.

  2. The Community of Christ gained acceptance as a member in the National Council of Churches by submitting documentation, some of which stated that the founder of the church was “not Joseph Smith, Jr., but his son, Joseph Smith, III.” The entire published history of the RLDS church (the CofC has proven in court that it is the RLDS church) states that the RLDS/CofC is the original church founded by Joseph Smith, Jr.

    That said, it becomes obvious that no official pronouncements by CofC officials can be regarded as truthful. The leadership tells it members one thing, tells orthodox churches another, and then does something else again entirely.

    The picture of a Community of Christ that has seen the errors of Mormonism, and wants to come in out the hell is a fantasy cooked up by propagandists. It’s a pretty picture, but it just isn’t true. An analogy would be a drug addict who has decided to stop taking quite so many drugs so that he can use the “Pass-Your-Drug-Test” kit he bought at his local head shop.

    The Community of Christ leadership enjoys complete control of a denomination that has no Bible or scriptural foundation that cannot be contradicted by a sudden “new revelation” that the leadership has. These revelations are usually self-serving for the leadership, which has a habit of secretly approving “exceptions” to the published rules of the church. As such, it cannot be trusted by its own members, let alone by orthodox denominations with whom it wishes to cooperate to gain a modicum of acceptance as “Christian.”

    The only difference between the Community of Christ and the LDS church is that the Community of Christ is more skilfull in hiding its Mormon nature.

  3. I cannot comment on how the C of C see themselves in relation to Joseph Smith, Jr. However, either way that does not determine how orthodox their current beliefs are. You are wrong with regard to differences between the C of C and the LDS. The C of C has never held the more radical doctrines of the LDS, many of which were developed by Brigham Young.

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