In Response to My Comment that Community of Christ Worship Strikes Me as Very Protestant and Wondering Why the World Needs Yet Another Protestant Denomination, A Community of Christ Member Reminds Me That the World Needs More People of Faith, Period
By Ken K. Gourdin
BYU’s Dan Peterson, who blogs on Sic et non at Patheos, had an invitation on his blog for his readers to check out the beliefs of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He posted the following link to the Community of Christ Web site (this and all other links last accessed March 7, 2017): http://www.cofchrist.org/basic-beliefs.
From what I’ve seen of Community of Christ worship, it strikes me as very Protestant. They are sincere in their beliefs, no doubt, and loved of God, just as I am. “Inasmuch as men [men of whatever religious persuasion, or even of no particular religious persuasion] do good, they shall in nowise lose their reward” [Doctrine & Covenants 58:28]. That said, I’m not sure why the world needs yet another Protestant denomination.
Mark DeGregg, a member of the Community of Christ, chided me gently for the foregoing (seemingly exclusivist, exclusionary) comment. He wrote, “Well, the world needs allot more LDS [Latter-day Saints], COC [Community of Christ], Catholics, Baptists, Jews, . . . believers of God, [et cetera]. My COC opinion only.”
I responded to Mr. (Brother?) DeGregg (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who believe we are all children of God and, hence, spiritual brothers and sisters, often address one another (along with, as I do here, members of other restorationist faiths) as “Brother” and “Sister,” abbreviated “Bro.” and “Sis.”) thus:
Fair enough, Mr./Bro. DeGregg. Touché! If anything good will come out of the continuing secularist assault on faith and on the faithful, it will be that, eventually, many of the faithful will realize, whatever our differences and disagreements, (metaphorically speaking) “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and thus, that we can ill afford, in light of that assault, to make enemies of other people of faith over sectarian differences.
I make essentially that point at the link below in more detail. Here’s a very short “money quote”: “Wherever doctrinal differences can be set aside in favor of focusing on what we have in common with other faiths in order to accomplish higher purposes, we should do so.” Here’s the entire essay: https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/toward-interreligious-oneness/.
I’m reminded also of something attributed to President Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who reportedly said, “A good man is a good man, whether in this church or out of it.”