Talk:Community of Christ

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From Talk:Community of Christ/Comments[edit]

The following was origionally posted to Talk:Community of Christ/Comments, but should have been posted here, so moved. -- 208.81.184.4 (talk) 16:27, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

The article on the Community of Christ is well put together but in reading the membership details supplied by the Church itself 'Mission Field 2006' enrollment to say the Church has an approximate world membership of 250,000 is rather much an over statement! The 2006 figures supplied by the Church itself adds up to 195,193 members which increased slightly from the 2005 or so the Church says. The 250,000 figure was first used by the Commmunity of Christ back before the many problems they went through with membership losses to breakaway groups protesting female ordination, especially to the Office of Apostle and comments made about the role and position of the Book of Mormon in that Church. Some of the breakaway groups that left the Community of Christ are small but a few have many thousands of members so that 250,000 just didn't seem accurate at all.71.35.251.112 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 21:22, 6 July 2009

Information Box[edit]

I am quite unclear as to what the function of the box on the left hand side is. It contains very little relevent or important information. The image that is being used in the box is also a little strange in that it is not the Community of Christ seal, but a version of it that has been accepted by the US government for use on grave stones for Community of Christ members. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.171.196.251 (talk) 08:20, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Attendance decline[edit]

I'm quite ignorant of the church, but the deleted passage about a decline by 75 percent in Sunday worship catches my interest. The allegedly unclear statistic does, of course, lack information about which exact years the decline refers to, but a reference to the recent schisms gives an approximate time frame which, in light of the dramatically high number, would seem to be adequate.

In what way is a printed source unverifiable? And how about other sources? Does the church provide statistics, as most churches do? If this source is questionable, is it merely because it is critical of the current direction of the church, or are there other reasons?

In my view, an alleged decline in attendance by 75 percent over a few decades is - if true - an important aspect of the article. It seems important to establish the possible factual accuracy of the statement. --Jonund (talk) 21:36, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

The problem with the reference is that there is no clarification or context. The reference is also beneath Wiki standards. Where exactly is this publication and who is behind it? If the only source is motivated by POV, is unreliable or self-published, it won't fly - no matter how shocking or seemingly significant it is. I encourage editors to dig deep to find sources if the allegation is correct. Best, A Sniper (talk) 23:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
The context is the transformation of the church and the ongoing schism. One might also mention the decline of mainline Protestant churches over the past decades (less pronounced, but still dramatic).
The author is Richard Price and it is available throgh Restoration Bookstore, a conservative fraction of the church. It is not self-published, but represents a part of the church with at least some prominence.
On what grounds could the source be deemed unreliable? The POV-brand appears problematic. As a representant for the historic position of the denomination, facing a radical change in doctrine by the current leadership, it would seem to be equally credible as the other side, if no special circumstances indicate otherwise. To the limited extent that I have checked their material, they seem to be moderate in tone. --Jonund (talk) 21:36, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I know the Prices - I like the Prices and I do not doubt their sincerity, or even their prowess as amateur historic sleuths. However, I fail to see how they aren't self-publishers. They have always printed their own material and sold it out of their house in Independence (and in recent times at their website). But more significantly, I thought the reference itself was vague and without context. Throwing out numbers and percentages without qualifying them or stating demographic starting points can be misleading and lead to POV-based conclusions. Best, A Sniper (talk) 22:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

75% is a big number, but there has been a decline in membership (and especially active membership). Roger Launius provides the following numbers: In 1994, the annual number of baptisms was 1/3 the average number for the mid-1960s. 25k-50k joined schismatic groups. Contributions down 50% (real $) since 1978. 40% membership (150k still on books) seen as active. Roger D. Launius, "The Reorganized Church, the Decade of Decision, and the Abilene Paradox," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 31, no. 1 (1998): 47-65. 24.233.254.29 (talk) 23:47, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I added this information to the text. 24.233.254.29 (talk) 01:51, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Discarding Heritage?[edit]

"It seems, however, intent on discarding its heritage in favor of a liberal, pluralistic theology, adopted in recent decades.[6]"

I am at a loss to see where the referenced article by Richard Howard supports the ideas presented here. This is clearly interpretation, rather than referencing. Having read several of Richard Howard's articles and books, and having met him, I can say confidently that he would not support the ideas presented in the passage quoted above. Richard Howard was Community of Christ official historian for many years, and therefore charged with the task of upholding the importance of the movement's heritage.

Could you please explain to me where it says in Howard's article that the Community of Christ is, or seems to be "intent on discarding its heritage in favour of a liberal, pluralistic theology"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ricktopher (talkcontribs) 15:52, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I sat in the Howard's dining room in Independence eating dinner in 1983 when he discussed how history was colored by the perceptions of the writers - their bias, their agenda, their faith - and that this was an affliction he hurled at RLDS historians and writers from the late nineteenth century. Richard was groundbreaking in his challenges against the status quo, from the First Vision account to polygamy. Perhaps you're right that the reference has been interpreted by the editor and it can be rephrased, but I think there is merit in stating that the last 30 years have brought forth changes that put the emphasis less on what had been considered historical truths in restoration, authority, etc. Best, A Sniper (talk) 18:09, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
There is merit in such a statement. However, I believe that the way it is stated on the article at present does not represent a neutral point of view. The Community of Christ has undoubtedly shifted focus away from perspectives it held previously, but to say or even imply it is "intent on discarding its heritage" is inaccurate.

Perhaps a more neutral re-phrasing of this could be also shifted away from the introduction, and into the section on Community of Christ history. This could be in place of the sentence, "Within the past several decades, the church has undergone radical changes, discarding many of its distinctive doctrines." Just as the sentence in the introduction, this sentence also is not representing a neutral point of view, nor is it providing an entirely accurate depiction of the changes that have occurred. These changes seem to represent a changing understanding of its traditional doctrines, rather than a discarding of doctrines. My suggestion would be something along the following lines: "Since the 1960's the church’s proselytizing with other world cultures in countries outside North America forced a re-assessment and gradual evolution of denominational practices and beliefs." This is for the most part identical to a sentence in the article History of the Community of Christ, which I believe is also probably the best location for any more detailed treatment of these issues. --Ricktopher (talk) 14:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Ricktopher - I think you can start a decent, NPOV way of stating that the denomination hasn't tried to chuck every aspect of the original Restoration stuff, but on the other hand has obviously evolved considerably since W. Wallace Smith. One certain issue was the start of the leadership connection to St. Paul's School of Theology and the influence they stated it had on their world view, religious-wise. Give it a whirl and I'll chime in with comments or edits... Best, A Sniper (talk) 18:37, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

"worth of all persons"[edit]

What constitutes personhood according to Community of Christ? Does it include the unborn? What about people in a coma? Has there ever been any official statement on that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.193.112.62 (talkcontribs) 14:36, 12 April 2011

"Community of Christ" versus "The Community of Christ"[edit]

I think the official publications drop the word "the" and just refer to Community of Christ. Shouldn't this be standardized one way or the other? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.193.112.62 (talk) 14:38, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes. It is the general practice of Community of Christ to drop the word "the" (although their own website is not entirely consistent on this matter). However normal English grammar would suggest that the article should be present. Every few months an editor will go through a Community of Christ article and remove all the "the"'s. Then a few months later another editor will come through and add them all back without ever discussing it on the talk page. Since this is Wikipedia and not Community of Christ we do not have to follow the Community of Christ style guide. I don't really have a preference either way.--dbolton (talk) 23:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

With regard to your comment on grammar, you are correct. So, Isn't the question really "the Community of Christ" versus "The Community of Christ"? 128.218.42.123 (talk) 06:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Sabellianism[edit]

A recent edit changed Trinitarian to Sabellianism in the infobox. I was unsure of such a drastic change, but not being an expert in CoC doctrine I though I should bring this up on this talk page. Is the CoC in fact a Trinitarian faith, or does it have more nuanced beliefs, such as Sabellianism? -- 208.81.184.4 (talk) 17:54, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

From the basic beliefs page on the website: "We affirm the Trinity—God who is a community of three persons." http://www.cofchrist.org/ourfaith/faith-beliefs.asp --dbolton (talk) 01:14, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
@Dbolton, trinitarianism has a precise definition refined over hundreds of years and a number of ecumenical councils. "Community of three persons" is just not precise enough to claim that CoC is trinitarian, particularly as it would seek to differentiate itself from LDS theology in that regard. Is the CoC claiming an understanding of a "homoousios" of three "hypostases"? For all I can tell, the phrase might mean three distinct gods who are in community, which would be quite similar to traditional LDS theology. I have not been able to find anything authoritatively more descriptive from the CoC. All of the anecdotal evidence I have read does lend itself to sabellianism (i.e. modalism). If that turns out of be the actual position, then the CoC is not a trinitarian body and should not be regarded as so on this page. While I understand that many Christian denominations and unaffiliated churches have statements of faith which are often as equally imprecise as the CoC's, they can trace their lineage to true Nicene Churches and also would generally have no problem with the Nicene definition (and probably not the Chalcedonian either). The CoC, however, has no such lineage or, that I can find, claims such agreement. Even if the CoC has their own definition of "Trinity" and is in internal agreement with that definition, it would not be what the "Trinity" page is describing. If you have more detailed resources, please share. Jyg (talk) 07:36, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
And minutes later I did find something further at http://www.cofchrist.org/we-proclaim-jesus-christ . However, it is equally as vague. "Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, both fully human and fully divine. In him we see ourselves and we see God, whom he tenderly called Abba, the compassionate One, who gave birth to all of creation and declared it to be 'very good.' Together with the Holy Spirit, they are one." One what? It is difficult to keep from thinking that it was purposefully not written as "they are one God". Still looking.... Jyg (talk) 07:47, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

priesthood[edit]

joseph smith jr had the a priesthood given by the original apostles how come that there is another successor who dont have the priesthood became a president of the church? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 180.191.156.78 (talk) 10:39, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry - what are you talking about exactly? Best, A Sniper (talk) 20:15, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Running 'The'[edit]

As I skimmed over the article as a part of the WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement, I noticed that this organisation was repeatedly referred to as 'Community of Christ', rather than 'the Community of Christ', so I propose that each of these instances be changed to include merely a running 'the', not part of the title, merely for the sake of proper English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joseph Yanchar (talkcontribs) 09:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

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