Community of Christ to Start Marrying, Blessing Same-Sex Couples
Formerly Known as the RLDS, Church Will Also Ordain Gays and Lesbians Who Are Married or Partnered
by Hugo Salinas
On April 21, the National Conference of the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) recommended to the First Presidency that the Church in the U.S. extend marriage to gays couples where same-sex marriage is legal. For states which do not have marriage equality, the Conference recommends implementing covenant commitment ceremonies. The same conference recommended allowing priesthood ordinations regardless of sexual orientation so long as the person is either married or in a monogamous, committed, same-sex relationship.
In a blog entry about the policy change, LDS author Carol Lynn Pearson wrote that she is “very glad to be Restoration Cousins with these good people [of the Community of Christ],” and “to be walking with them on the journey toward inclusion of our gay brothers and sisters”.
John Hamer, an out man and Community of Christ historian, says the move “is consistent with Community of Christ’s trajectory over the past half century, which has been to focus on building Christ-centered communities.”
“Jesus preached the gospel of inclusion and of love,” John added. “He opposed the worship of senseless rules as hypocritical and ‘pharisaical,’ and yet ironically soon after Jesus’ death Christians began to fixate on their own senseless rules, using them to marginalize others.”
LDS blogger and political scientist Chris Henrichsen praised the Community of Christ in a blog entry announcing the new policy.
“For me, the Community of Christ is an example of the vibrancy of the Restoration movement that started with Joseph Smith,” Chris wrote. “They are my brothers and sisters in the Restoration.”
Read the full story at cofchrist.org/usaConf.
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Good News. As a Mormon my Church has a long way to go to catch up with the Community of Christ. But the pressure is on in my country of NZ. In New Zealand gay marriage is legal by law. We are a Western democracy based on the will of the majority.
How amazing to know you are not discriminating against gay people unlike your lds cousins. Acknowledgeing that G-d does not make mistakes and that gay people are exactly what G-d created them to be is a part of the restoration of the gospel in the latter days. Bless you in your continual mission to bring light and life to all families in this world.
If one believes that social progress is part of the restoration, I don’t know why you would value the LDS Church over Community of Christ. One is clearly not observing that idea, and the other is.
I applaud your churches views. What a beautiful statement to make 2 years before the Supreme Court made it legal in our nation. I left my Southern Baptist church 27 years ago due to hatemongering towards your church and others. Marrying into the C of C I was flabbergasted to find the warmth and love, not just to their own congregation but to everyone!! What a testimony to Christ’s love you are in both words and actions. I so hope other denominations take a page from your wonderful congregation. If every church followed this thinking the world would be a sainer or better place for everyone. I pray your church congregation is blessed for your progressive, kind teachings and actions.
I see that the Community of Christ church is still struggling to assimilate gays and Lesbians into full fellowship. I am heartened by the very positive direction in which church law and procedure is going. But I can tell from the current policy that LGBT are still problematic for church policy in that apparently only those gays and Lesbians who are married or partnered can be ordained. That is, they do not trust that an unpartnered gay will not have extra-marital/relational sex. But this policy does not carry over to the heterosexual or assumed heterosexual candidate for priesthood. The church has gone a long ways toward healing this rift, but not quite far enough for full equality.
I love John Hamer’s quotes.