Sunday, April 01, 2007

Church of Christ approves new revelation
Mormon spinoff church adopts anti-discrimination doctrine

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Delegates to the Community of Christ World Conference voted
overwhelmingly Friday to add a passage to church doctrine that, among other
things, says scripture should not be interpreted in ways that lead to

"It is not pleasing to God when scripture is used to diminish or oppress races,
genders or classes of human beings," wrote First President Stephen M. Veazey,
who also is the church's prophet.

"Much physical and emotional violence has been done to some of God's beloved
children through the misuse of scripture," Veazey said. "The church is called
to confess and repent of such attitudes and practices."

The passage was added to the Doctrine and Covenants, one of three books
considered scriptural by the Community of Christ, formerly known as the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Independence-based church still considers the Book of Mormon, as well as
the Bible, to be inspired scripture. Doctrine and Covenants is the only book of
scripture subject to ongoing addition, but prophets' "letters of counsel" must
be approved by the larger body.

Much of the four-page document is an exhortation to the Community of Christ to
more closely pursue its core values of peace, justice and environmental

"God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge, drawn from the nations of
the world, that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and
peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ," Veazey wrote.

The new scripture also calls for freeing the Council of Twelve, the highest
level of leadership below the three-member First Presidency, from
administrative duties.

"As the apostles move out in faith and unity of purpose, freeing themselves
from other duties, they will be blessed with an increased capacity for sharing
Christ's message of hope and restoration for creation," Veazey wrote.

"It is a dangerous document because it calls us to be serious and willful in
our following of Jesus Christ," delegate Jon Horner said. "It calls us to fly
without a net — or with only the spiritual net of the living presence of Jesus
Christ in our lives."

Several delegates said, however, that the vote should be postponed until
non-English speakers had had chances to view the final versions of the document
in their own languages.

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