Spirit and Letter of Church Law
The spirit and letter of the Church is summated in the new commandment of Jesus of Nazareth found in the New Testament of The Holy Bible, Gospel of John, Chapter 13, Verse 34, which says, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you...." We understand that commandment in light of the exemplary life of Jesus. It is our supreme law by which everything is, and will be, measured. All things inconsistent with it are illegal under the divine law.
These Canons are brought forth in furtherance of that commandment.
Founding and Name
In the eyes of the mundane law, this Church officially began business operations by name ("Real Liberal Christian Church") on the 12th day of March 2007 in Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
Thomas Hill Usher (a.k.a. Thomas H. Usher and Thomas Usher; hereinafter "Tom") received the call to form this Church.
The full name of this Church, a nonprofit (mundane sense) association and Christian denomination, is the "Real Liberal Christian Church" (also known as the "RLCC") (hereinafter the "Church").
The duration of the Church is perpetual.
US Federal Tax Exemption
The Church is organized exclusively for religious purposes including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
Propagating (evangelizing) real Christianity, the truth, the Good News (through word and deed), opposed to greed, violence, coercion, punishment, and depravity
Creating the real Christian commons
Undertaking charitable, social, and humanitarian efforts such as awareness and action in the following areas:
The environment (good stewardship)
Social and economic justice
Visitation, encouragement, and help for the sick, the lonely, widows and widowers, orphans, the homeless, the oppressed, refugees, slaves, the unemployed, the disabled, and the imprisoned, and the like, throughout the world
Conference centers and retreats
Education and training
Not-for-profit employment programs
Water, sanitation, food (growing food and conducting food drives), clothes (making and drives), housing (restoring and new construction), and clean and sustainable energy
Recovery and rehabilitation of both people and the earth
Wholesome toys and playgrounds for children
Art (performing and visual)
Parks and gardens (in addition to farming communes)
Science, engineering, and technology (the unselfish variety).
Making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
The Church may receive and administer funds for scientific, religious, educational, or charitable purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to that end, the Church is empowered to hold any property, or any undivided interest therein, without limitation as to amount or value; to dispose of any such property and to invest, reinvest, or deal with the principal or the income in such manner as, in the judgment of the board, will best promote the purposes of the Church, without limitation (except such limitations, if any, as may be contained in
(a) the instrument under which such property is received
(b) the Articles of Association
(c) the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons, or Continuing Resolutions), or Policies and Procedures of the Church or
(d) any applicable secular laws, to do any other act or thing incidental to, or connected with, the foregoing purposes or in advancement thereof (but not for the pecuniary profit or financial gain of its directors or officers except as permitted under Not-for-Profit law).
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of any member, trustee, or officer of the Church or to any private individual, except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the Church affecting one or more of its purposes and except that every member shall share from the common treasury of the Church as the whole body of the Church shall decide each members unselfish need in accordance with the Scripture, meaning every member shall share in common.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45).
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34-35).
No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (secular).
The Church shall not participate in or intervene in, including the publication or distribution of statements, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office (secular). This does not mean that the Church will be silent about issues or the position of the Church, whether or not such issues are addressed, or such positions are shared, by any such candidate.
We believe that some in the US government have put into place tax exemptions for religious organizations designed in a way to give donors a tax deduction on itemized returns with that exemption status contingent upon applicable religious organizations not engaging in the vague concept of propaganda, among other restrictions/prohibitions, for the main purpose of limiting such organizations to speaking about the hereafter and in an attempt to preclude such organizations from bringing to fruition, in the here and now by free exercise, their religious convictions.
The Church will not compromise its convictions for the sake of having donor contributions being tax-deductible or for the sake of the Church avoiding paying taxes to the government.
It is Church position that The Bible itself can easily be defined as propaganda. The Bible itself and the message of Jesus can not but help influence what is termed "public policy." There is nothing the Church can or will do about that. It is impossible for the Church to exercise religion according to the doctrine of Jesus Christ and not at the same time be held as influencing public policy. It is not for the Church to sort this out but rather for the secular government. It is Church position that the US Constitution renders any prohibition against the Church by the secular authorities as unconstitutional. Further more, in any case that the Real Liberal Christian Church is discriminated against in this regard, it is also Church position that such would be unconstitutional, as it would be a violation of equal protection under the constitution. In other words, wherever or whenever the government attempts to gag the Church, that government necessarily would have to force all religious organizations held as exempt to be silent and not officially speak or propagate their doctrines, an untenable position for the secular government.
This is why we say that the new commandment is the highest law since it does not suffer from the inherent hypocrisy within the secular law.
Our religious faith concerns not only the otherworldly but concerns bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of God on earth now. These fruits come in many forms much of which is tangibly external but the result of the spirit dwelling within. To bring forth requires propagation of the methods of organization of society to that end. Such is propaganda by definition.
We hold that the term "propaganda" as used by the IRS is referring to messages designed to encourage people to vote a particular way in secular elections or to encourage secular office holders to change or administer secular laws one way or the other.
The way in which the Church has used the said term in our Articles of Association and Canons for purposes of meeting IRS requirements is not to be construed as a statement that the Church agrees to be silent concerning bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of God on earth and the methods for so doing. Neither should it be construed as a statement that we agree with any assertions from any quarter that the Church does not have the right and obligation to bring forth even while being exempt.
Not withstanding any other provisions of these Canons to the contrary, the Church reserves the right to create a 501(d) commune. Such organization would be exempt from the limitations of so-called political speech, campaigning, lobbying, and the like. The purpose behind any such creation would not be to enable the Church to engage in such activities but would be so that the Church would not be gagged from its prophetic responsibility to sound the alarm as the watchmen of Jesus's time.
If the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. — (Ezekiel 33:6).
How may one warn the world while avoiding what the IRS would deem attempting to influence secular legislation? All we may say is that we are calling upon each other to change hearts, minds, and souls, and that whether or not one is a legislator or executive with signing or veto power or a court with interpretative power is irrelevant. All must abide by the will of God or all authority will be taken away.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these Canons, the Church shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on
(a) by a church exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or
(b) by a church, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code).
Dissolution of the Church is not anticipated; however, no member, trustee, director, officer, or otherwise, of the Church, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any Church assets on dissolution of the Church.
Should such dissolution occur, assets shall be exclusively distributed to
(a) Christian organization(s) which, in the judgment of the board, is/are most consistent with the doctrines of the Church and which organization(s) would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its regulations then pertaining or
(b), for a public purpose, to the federal government, state government(s), or local government(s) or
(c) any combination of (a) and (b).
Should a division occur within the Church, its property, real and personal, shall belong to that part, regardless of size, which best remains faithful to the Articles of Association and to the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons, or Continuing Resolutions), Policies and Procedures, and religious doctrine of the Church.
The Church will own the real property of its Apostolic Associations (also "communes" herein). It will assist its religious orders (also "Apostolic Associations" herein) in their charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes.
Any and all trade or business carried on by the Church shall be and remain directly related to the exempt purposes of the Church. All trade or business carried on by the Church shall be, and remain, not-for-profit, in terms of how "profit" is defined by the IRS (there is spiritual profit to be made).
While remaining tax exempt, the Church or its communes' businesses may not be for the mutual benefit of the membership [MEMBERSHIP SEMANTICS]. The members may receive compensation for their labors, and they may receive bona fide charity from the Church. Otherwise, the net earnings of any Church or commune business must be for the sake of charity outside the communes. As 501(c)(3) communes, the net profits will go into the Church denominational common treasury (which transfer is a non-taxable transaction from one 501(c)(3) to another) for the sake of acquiring land, etc., for the further sake of creating additional 501(c)(3) communes.
The point is that the Church may not compete for so-called market share against tax-paying businesses while the proceeds go to members who would be, in the eyes of the capitalists, for all intents and purposes, for-profit business owners. This does not mean that members cannot eat the food growing on tax-exempt communes or wear the clothes made on those communes, etc.
The purpose, among others, of the communes is to produce a surplus to feed, house, clothe, nurture, visit, encourage, and help the sick, the lonely, widows and widowers, orphans, the homeless, the oppressed, refugees, slaves, the unemployed, the disabled, and the imprisoned, etc., all over the world.
The Church meets tax exempt regulation requirements.
1. We have a distinct legal existence.
2. We don't know what the IRS intends by the words "recognized creed and form of worship." Recognized by whom? Is this designed to preclude new denominations? At our founding, we do not accept in total any of the creeds of the other churches nor will we necessarily worship as they do or be accepted or recognized by them.
3. We have a definite and distinct plan for ecclesiastical government.
4. We have a formal code of doctrine and discipline.
5. We have a distinct religious history.
6. We have a membership not associated with any other church or denomination.
7. We plan an organization of ordained ministers. In truth, our members are, each and all, ministers ordained of God.
8. We plan to have ordained ministers selected by the flock after completing prescribed studies of, among other things, the literature of the Church. Such studies are an aspect surely of the seal of God upon at least every literate adult member from whom all members will collectively choose whom God has chosen, the one who is last, serves the fold in accordance with God's will only.
9. We have a literature of our own.
10. We will have an established place of worship. Even house churches meet this standard.
Until Constantine I started building dedicated structures for the state co-opted religion, the congregations met in homes of patrons. Those homes were run by women. Once the state churches opened, women were marginalized. Violence and war then dominated the changed church. That church was no longer the church of Jesus Christ. That church is the root of the vast majority of what is today called Christianity but is not.
11. We plan regular congregations (gatherings).
12. We plan regular religious services (Communion, group study of the scripture and discussion, fellowshipping, and the like).
13. We plan schools for religious instruction of the young.
14. We plan schools for the preparation of our ministers.
We do not have to meet all the requirements above to meet the threshold for tax exemption. As well, some of the fourteen points above made by the IRS are obviously redundant.
It is understood that the Church and its integrated auxiliaries are exempt from making application to the IRS for tax-exemption-status determinations.
The operations of the Church shall not be limited to the United States of America and its territories and possessions.
Originating and Governing Documents
The originating and governing documents of the Church are the Holy Scriptures of the Real Liberal Christian Church as interpreted in accordance with the preamble of these Canons and the most recent versions of (a) the Articles of Association [Constitution] of the Church (b) these Canons (c) Continuing Resolutions of the Church (d) Grants and Charters accepted by the Church and any authorized part of the Church (e) the Policies and Procedures of the Church and (f) There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
Purpose and Mission
Our purpose is as infinite as Jesus's love for his friends. The word "truth" says everything. Our purpose is to learn and share with heaven and earth the real meaning of that word.
In order to love each other as Jesus loved his disciples, it is necessary to understand and adhere to the words of Jesus, "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matthew 21:43).
How the words of Jesus determine the doctrine and purpose of the Church is more fully expounded in the work, There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
The whole world has not had the kingdom of God on Earth, because the whole world has not been bringing forth the fruits thereof. Much of the world has been sowing selfishness.
It is the purpose of the Church to have faith in the truth of the words of Jesus and to, therefore, work to bring forth on Earth the fruits, both spiritual and tangible, of the kingdom of God. We are to sow unselfishness. We are to declare what is right and what is wrong. We are to be softhearted.
It is the purpose of the Church to overcome greed, violence, coercion, and depravity and to displace those with giving and sharing, peace, purity of heart, and the rest of righteousness.
Our calling is to displace selfishness in the world with both unselfishness and cooperation and to displace coercion with voluntary cooperation.
We are further called to make clear and plain to the world that the whole of God's creation is the rightful inheritance of all God's children to share in utmost fairness.
The mission of the Church is bound inexorably with its purpose. Our mission is to feed the lambs and sheep of God's fold. To do that in keeping with the doctrine that the whole of God's creation is the rightful inheritance of all God's children, our mission is to create the Church commons, where Church members, holding all things in common, may live and work in the furtherance of real Christianity in the world to spread the Christian commons to enable God's children freely to exercise their true religion and to relieve the suffering of this world.
We are to feed, house, clothe, nurture, visit, encourage, and help the sick, the lonely, widows and widowers, orphans, the homeless, the oppressed, refugees, slaves, the unemployed, the disabled, and the imprisoned, and the like, and spread the truth, the Good News, all over the world.
We must bring forth good shepherding and good stewardship.
Service (being last) toward one another is our mission.
We must return the faith to the principles of Jesus Christ and away from the distortion caused by Constantine I, caesar of the Roman Empire.
"As early as A.D. 175 a churchman named Meliton of Sardis was whispering into the ear of the rulers that 'only when Christianity is protected and promoted ... does the empire continue in size and splendor.'" ... "By the year 416 the army was declared closed to all but Christians...."
Note: Leonard Verduin. The Anatomy of a Hybrid: A Study in Church-State Relationships. The Christian Hymnary Sarasota, Florida, USA. 1976. Robert Nguyen Cramer, editor. "313 AD - The beginning of Constantine's cooption of Christianity: when Christian teachings and practices began to change drastically." BibleTexts.com. . (accessed: Monday, November 13, 2006).
That's an exact reversal of the original Church and Jesus's teachings and example. Constantine started the ball rolling by co-opting Christianity and changing it from a religion of pacifism to warfare, conquest, worldly empire building, worshipping idols, among other anti-Christian things.
"The Synod of Arles, called by Constantine in 314, contains an official statement of the church concerning military service. Article 3 states, 'Concerning those who throw away their arms in time of peace, it is fitting that they should not be admitted to communion.'"
Note: John Driver. How Christians Made Peace with War: Early Christian Understandings of War. Herald Press. Scottdale, Pennsylvania, USA. 1988. "313 AD - The beginning of Constantine's cooption of Christianity: when Christian teachings and practices began to change drastically." BibleTexts.com. . (accessed: Monday, November 13, 2006).
Constantine also issued a death warrant for anyone who kept a copy of the work by Arius the Gnostic. He said, "... If anyone shall be detected in concealing a book written by Arius, and does not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offense shall be death." That was hardly Christian.
Note: David W. Bercot. "Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up: A New Look at Today's Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity." Scroll Pub. 1989. "313 AD - The beginning of Constantine's cooption of Christianity: when Christian teachings and practices began to change drastically." BibleTexts.com. . (accessed: Monday, November 13, 2006).
We are all made in the image of God if we will but believe it. We are to emulate Christ. These are heretical ideas in the eyes of the co-opted, worldly church. They are truths in the real Church. Constantine I corrupted the church. He led it astray into apostasy far from God and the way of Christ. Hermann Goering, founder of the Nazi Gestapo, commander of the Nazi air force, vice fÃ¼hrer, second in command only after Hitler, put it this way April 18, 1946, "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Note: G. M. Gilbert. Nuremberg Diary. Farrar, Straus and Company. New York. 1947. Reprinted by Da Capo Press. 1995.
We must rectify sexism.
We must reestablish the divine meaning of the term liberal, which has no villainy in it, but rather means bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom of God on Earth.
The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. (Isaiah 32:5).
But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. (Isaiah 32:8).
The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. — Jesus. (Luke 22:25-27).
This is a movement. It is the movement of the Holy Spirit. The people will control the means of production and mundane wealth. They will change the very structure so it will be a wholly different system from the system of selfishness.
Good government is by the Holy Spirit dwelling within, informing consciences and hearts. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are inseparable: One. His life is the example for us of good government for individuals, nations, earth, the universe, and heaven. Each member of the Church is to be one with Jesus and with one another throughout the whole body. Unity of focus in this spirit is the path to perfect governance. All authority rests in the wholeness of God. This is infinitely intimate government. It is the person in God and God in the person. We are united with one another in action and common interests that are love, peace, and truth.
The Church exercises control or rule over itself. The Church shall remain free and self-governing.
The government is vested in its membership. Final authority resides in the membership who adhere to these Canons and whose head is God.
The Church is administered by its directors, officers, leaders, committees, teams, and the like. The members choose whom to follow, their leaders, their shepherds, those of the members who serve best the needs of the whole and each individual in accordance with the teaching and exemplification of Jesus Christ.
Board of Directors
The IRS requires a board of directors to have an arms-length relationship with the organization and not benefit from its services; however, this does not apply to religious organizations.
The Board of Directors comprises the administrators of the Church and is also a standing oversight committee. By virtue of the annual elections and more importantly the memberships' right of referenda and initiatives, the board is the membership's opportunity to keep the whole Church a grassroots association with hubs of representatives for participatory, grassroots facilitation.
The initial directors shall consist of at least three (3) members who may be residents of any state. The names and addresses of the persons who shall serve as initial directors until their successors shall have been elected and qualified shall be released upon naming.
Tom is the initial chairman of the Board of Directors.
The chairman will appoint the initial board members.
Building from the grassroots up, the form of the Board of Directors will take shape. It is for this reason that we do not lay out all the specifications concerning the board.
The number of terms will be indefinite or until the membership elects term limits, which is not anticipate.
The early membership will develop a collaborative, consensus-building style from which membership decisions will be made concerning the board and other structures of the Church.
Electing Board Members
The whole Church membership will vote annually for the entire board membership, but in no wise shall the initial board members serve less than one full calendar year unless removed for cause.
Anyone may stand, in humility, for any position within the Church. It is assumed that the membership will put forward candidates by virtue of the candidates' service, humility, gifts, and abilities, following the new commandment as interpreted by the Church.
The directors for the ensuing year shall be chosen by the annual election of the Church.
The directors shall serve for a term of one year.
Vacancies in the Board of Directors shall be filled by a vote of the majority of the remaining members of the Board of Directors for the balance of the year.
The Church shall use the instant-runoff method of elections. In any election where none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes, there will be a runoff election based upon Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV), which will allow members to rank their choices in order of their preference: First choice, second choice, third choice, etc.
This is how the process is described ):
"If no candidate has a majority, the candidate with the least amount of support is eliminated, and ballots for that candidate now move on to support the second choice candidates that voters already selected on their ballots. This process of eliminating candidates and redistributing the votes continues until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote."
Tom is the initial president (chief executive officer).
The president will appoint the initial officers.
The initial officer positions of the organization shall be as follows:
The president shall be the chief executive office and chairman of the Board of Directors.
The president shall preside at board meetings.
The president shall present at each annual meeting of the organization an annual report of the work of the organization.
The president shall appoint all committees, temporary or permanent.
The president shall see to it that all books, reports, and certificates required by law are properly kept and filed.
The president must be one of the two officers who shall sign denominational-level checks or drafts.
The president shall have such powers as may be reasonably construed as belonging to the chief executive of any organization.
Until the appointment of the initial board and the executive vice president, the president shall also be the acting chief operating officer.
Executive vice president
shall be the chief operating officer (COO)
shall be a member of both the Executive Board and the Board of Directors
shall be responsible for resource management, the production of goods and services, and the efficiency and effectiveness of production and delivery, all which can include, among other things, planning and scheduling, human resources (the members as workers), design engineering, industrial engineering, management information systems, quality control, safety, production management, scopes of work, bills of materials, service management, project management, supply-chain management, warehousing, inventory control, maintenance, transportation, and purchasing. The executive vice president shall oversee the association's enterprise resource planning (ERP), material requirement planning (MRP), and since service is our business, membership relations management (MRM, a.k.a. CRM). All of this will be geared to communal, organic farms to displace the capitalist corporations that are self-centered and destructive.
Such a description should not be construed as an indication that the Church is interested in developing a cold bureaucracy. All of the position-descriptions of the Church anticipate large, warm, and soft hearts in its officers and members (shepherds and stewards all).
In the event of the inability of the president to exercise the office of the president, the executive vice president shall become acting president of the organization with all the rights, privileges, and powers as if the duly elected president until the return or replacement of the president.
Vice president of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
shall be the chief information and communications officer (CICO)
shall be a member of the Executive Board and may be elected to the Board of Directors
shall be responsible for all the hardware and software the Church will use. This vice president shall be responsible for keeping the Church in the position of being able to communicate with its members, member to member, and with the non-membership in the world. He or she will be the Church webmaster and handle the Church intranet and virtual private network.
shall keep the denominational-level minutes and records in appropriate books
may be elected to the Board of Directors and the president may appoint the secretary as a member of the Executive Board
shall file any certificate required by any statute, federal or state
shall give and serve all notices to members of this organization
shall be the official custodian of the records and seal of this organization
shall attend to all correspondence of the organization and shall exercise all duties incident to the office of Secretary.
shall be the chief financial officer (CFO)
shall be a member of the Executive Board and may be elected to the Board of Directors
shall have the care and custody of all monies, the common treasury, belonging to the Church and shall be primarily responsible for such monies or securities of the organization
shall cause the funds of the Church to be deposited in checking and savings accounts and investment vehicles, as such accounts and vehicles are approved by the board, and in such amounts as will insure the necessary and reasonably anticipated liquidity
must be one of the two officers who shall sign denominational-level checks or drafts
No special fund may be set aside at the denominational-level that shall make it unnecessary for the treasurer to sign checks issued upon it. There will though be accounts authorized by the board opened at subdivisional levels such as for communes, churches, committees, and the like, which subdivisions will report to the denominational treasurer regarding such accounts and all accounting.
Until the president has appointed the initial treasurer, only the president's signature or authorization shall be required concerning checks or drafts.
Once the initial treasurer has been appointed, the Church shall have a reasonable time to change the signatory documents with applicable financial institutions. This provision shall also apply concerning subsequent changes of applicable signing officers.
To avoid disrupting Church business, only the president's signature shall be required until those documents have taken effect.
Since online banking drafts do not require signatures, in cases where the Church is using such drafts, the treasurer shall cause to be prepared an Authorization for Transaction documenting the drafts (with reasonable back-up for auditing purposes—a clear audit trail) required to conduct the Church's finances, which Authorization for Transaction shall be signed by both the president and treasurer.
To minimize signing and overview requirements by the officers, Authorization for Transaction documents may document authorization for a series of repeating or scheduled checks or drafts.
Also, an Authorization for Transaction may be an electronic document requiring the public signing-key (computer-encryption key) of the officers as evidence of authorization in lieu of the officers' hand signatures on paper documents.
Even with these steps, it must be understood that nothing but the Holy Spirit acting within can prevent temptations to fraud in financial and other matters. The officers and members of the Church understand that there are serious spiritual repercussions for evil in one's heart.
shall render at stated periods as the Board of Directors shall determine a written account of the finances of the organization and such report shall be physically affixed to the minutes of the Board of Directors of such meeting
shall exercise all duties incident to the office of Treasurer including but not limited to financial planning and forecasting.
In the event of the inability of the treasurer to exercise the office of the treasurer, the president shall assume the treasurer's check-signing authority until the return or replacement of the treasurer.
The Executive Board
The Executives Board will be composed of the executive officers of the Church and will act as the president's cabinet.
Each board member will head up a major department or section of the Church. Each will chair a departmental committee. The departments will be based upon function as determined by the membership. The membership will form into organic committees based upon what the membership deems is needed at the grassroots. These ad hoc committees may or may not develop into standing committees. Those committees will select leaders and representatives to facilitate and coordinate with other committees and teams.
The membership will select the best persons for each position. Also, consistent with the education and training policies of the Church, people will be rotated around through various departments in a thoughtful manner according to abilities, all so that the Church as a whole may benefit and so that the individual members may grow and be stimulated by the learning opportunities. This will also prepare members with the breath of knowledge and skills to under take missions to form new congregations and communes, etc. It will be preparing shepherds and stewards.
The meetings of the Executive Board will be as flexible and spontaneous as the president deems necessary.
The fact that this board will exist is not to be construed as a statement by the Church that there is a hard and fast chain-of-command structure to the Church where lines of communication are rigidly enforced. The Church membership are first and foremost friends and spiritual siblings with none lording it over the other but rather all serving each and all. It is a great leveling so that all may be last and hence first.
The Board of Directors and the Executive Board will be the hubs for the Church community. They will be the facilitators for the sake of the whole membership and the new heaven and new earth that will be brought forth by the operation of the Holy Spirit within each of us. There will be no hierarchy in the traditional sense. If anything, the RLCC is better envisioned as an inverted pyramid where all the people are on top, who, by virtue of their serving one another, cause a leveling within the whole Church, while everyone rises in love, peace, and light.
Removing Directors or Officers or Both
We do not want to anticipate wrong doing on the part of any member of the Church; however, to set the minds of potential members at ease, a director or officer may be removed when sufficient cause exists for such removal and in accordance with the disciplinary provisions of these Canons, which provisions are per the Gospel.
An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total board is required to remove a board member or senior-level executive officer for cause.
The whole membership may override the board in such cases by a simple majority vote of members in good standing.
Policies and procedures for egalitarian recall will be developed and implemented at the Church's earliest opportunity.
The committees of the Church shall be spiritually alive, meaning enthused and dynamic.
The board, the executives, and the membership may create committees and inter-committee relationships as they deem appropriate to the cause of real Christianity as defined by the Church.
There will be as much sunshine in the meetings of the Church as possible, subject to overriding privacy and confidentiality concerns all consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Calling a meeting
With the exception of standing meetings (regularly scheduled meetings), ten-day notice shall be given to call a special meeting. Notice will be posted where all may check. Notice will also be given by phone, email, and any other notification methods that are available and reasonable. The Church will always act in the best of faith in attempting to get word to people in a timely manner.
Special meetings may be called by the president when the president deems that it is in the best interest of the Church.
The board may waive the ten-day requirement on a meeting-by-meeting basis, which waivers, if any, will be reflected in the minutes.
An exception to the notice rule is in the case of an emergency where either time is of the essence or notice cannot be delivered, in which such case, the most senior person will take whatever steps he or she deems best to meet the emergency.
Two-thirds of the membership of the board or applicable committee being present in person, telephonically, via Internet meeting, or the like, shall constitute a quorum.
Annual Board Meeting
There will be an official annual meeting of the board.
That meeting may be held telephonically or via Internet or any technological means whereby all members may fully participate.
The Board of Directors shall only act in the name of the Church when it shall be regularly convened by the chair and after due notice to all the directors of any such meeting, subject to the notice-waiver provision.
Roberts Rules of Order (Classic Edition) will be used unless otherwise specifically decided by the members of an authorized quorum.
Order of Business
1. Roll Call.
2. Reading of the Minutes of the preceding meeting.
3. Reports of Committees.
4. Reports of Officers.
5. Old and Unfinished Business.
6. New Business.
In the event of emergency business, the board or committee may dispense with items 2 through 5 above.
Each director shall have one vote.
At all meetings, all votes shall be by voice or where the meeting chair deems necessary by roll-call.
The congregations and communes, etc., will select their clergy. It will fall to the membership at the grassroots to see to it that they select and maintain as their servants and chief servants those who will do the best in keeping the fold in compliance with the Canons.
Grassroots selection is the best way. It is the opposite of the way that has brought the world to its current perilous state. Once so-called civilization was forced upon others, the grassroots lost its right to select its shepherds and stewards. Those who selfishly desired to lord it over others did so and passed down that backward teaching and tradition. The Church will reverse in people's hearts, minds, and souls the savagery that is so-called modernity and the corruption that is false civilization. The Church will do this without turning people into slothful, disordered, fractured, anxiety- or depression-riddled persons but rather, through love, the opposite.
Religious Titles and Styles
Pastor means shepherd. A shepherd serves the flock.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:1-12).
Therefore, we ought not call each other "Reverend," "Father," "Mother," "Master," or the like. We will teach one another and others. We are all brothers and sisters and may use each others first names as close and loving family members.
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent an officer or director from receiving needed compensation from the Church. "...the labourer is worthy of his hire." (Luke 10:7).
The Board of Directors shall hire and fix the compensation of any and all employees who the board in its discretion may determine to be necessary for the conduct of the business of the Church.
The Board may delegate its hiring authority.
Indemnification and Insurance of Board Members, Officers, Clergy, and Others
The Church will not leave a fellow spiritual brother or sister standing alone in the face of persecution. It cannot though cover the unrepentant. That is clear from the results of the crucifixion of Jesus and the consequent destruction of Jerusalem.
As these rudimentary Canons are being written, we live in a hyper-litigious, adversarial world. This is part of what is meant by the satanic spirit. The spirit of Satan, the opposite of the spirit of Christ, is the adversary and the accuser of all humanity, finding none redeemable.
It is part of the purpose and mission of the Church to turn this around through emotion, thought, word, and deed.
The right path is to move away from the status-quo of insurance, passed the system known as self-insurance, and into the new world of no such insurance, per se. The insurance industry makes money by investing premiums in the whole competitive, anti-cooperative system and ostensibly spreading risk across premium payers. Even in the mundane, if the Church has sufficient membership, the Church can effectively spread supposed loss across the whole membership (and the supporting community that may not necessarily be full-fledged members). The right spirit does not even require contingency funds set aside to meet disaster. In the right world, everyone shares as needed at the time. Everyone pitches in as he or she is able. They do this, unselfishly, out of the goodness of their hearts. God then is moved by humanity taking in God's merciful spirit and divine action is enhanced and accelerated accordingly. This, of course, is something that the evil of the world seeks, and will seek, to ruin and destroy. Beware the yeast of the Pharisees.
Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. — Jesus to his disciples. (Mark 8:18-19).
It is the evil spirit (feeling) that causes the losses in the first place. It will seek to infiltrate, subvert, and cause false-flag pretexts. They are from the schools that teach these evil methods. They will stoop as low as low can be. At the same time, faith in God is the antidote.
Insurance is doubt. Loss is spiritual in origin. A giving world needs no capitalist insurance. It needs no one profiting off the lack of faith, the loss, and the fear of loss of others. The membership and the whole of humanity can enlighten the middle people (the profiteers) in this sense, not to deprive them of their wages but rather to move the whole into the best spirit, thereby transforming the middle people into real Christians.
Real Christians will not do those things concerning which anyone would need to be indemnify via status-quo insurance. Real Christians will not molest children for instance. Anyone who molests children is not a real Christian and is not of the body of the Church, is not a member of the Church but is a criminal against God and humanity. Any such person must repent and atone and transform or fail salvation and continue the fall into utter and eternal damnation falling further and further from the reach and voice of God through their self-corruption for having ignorantly listened to and accepted the grip of evil despite that clear and plain call of God.
The mundane laws require competitive-system insurance such as auto insurance. It is a method of dealing with things in a way that both (a) deals with peoples' lack of the softhearted spirit of caring for each other and of aiding one another and (b) facilitates and encourages that lack. Universal insurance without money, without premiums, without the expectation of tit for tat recompense, is what Jesus had, and has, in mind. The premium paid is unselfishness. It is rewarded as all righteousness for righteousness sake is rewarded. It is full-circle without being motivated by that fact. In fact, such motivation for recompense (profit earnings, hoarding for self) destroys the full circle.
The Church and its communes shall maintain a common treasury.
The Church reserves the right to consult or appoint professional fundraisers (meaning members engaged in fundraising may share of the funds what is needed for the life of the flesh).
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. (Deuteronomy 25:4).
...the labourer is worthy of his hire. — Jesus (Luke 10:7).
Any such fundraisers will be supervised and evaluated with the same level of care as for the appointment of the auditor.
Any fundraising foundation established by the Church will be placed under the direction of a foundation committee reporting to the Board of Directors.
Socially Responsible Investing
The treasurer will endeavor at all times to see to it that land and building funds and the like are invested in ethical and socially responsible investment vehicles pending there use for the given funds purpose. Guidelines for ethical and socially responsible investing will be developed as part of the Church financial policies and procedures.
The Audit Committee shall be a standing committee (permanent).
AUDIT COMMITTEE CHARTER
The committee shall have oversight of and responsibility for the following:
Financial statements and audited financial statements
Internal financial policies and procedures (GAAP)
Regular reports to the Board of Directors at the board's regularly schedule meetings
Emergency reports to the board and officers as deemed necessary by the committee
When there are a sufficient number of trained members and audited financials are required, a committee will be formed of trained members that will select and oversee the accounting firm to result in audited financials of the denomination.
The Committee shall be composed initially of three members of the Church.
The members shall be elected at-large to annual terms.
The committee shall elect its chair from its members.
The Committee is authorized to overview all financial accounting of the Church.
The committee shall meet no fewer than once quarterly on a calendar-year basis.
Both the denominational president and treasurer will sign off on the financials.
Participatory budgeting and policy planning
The Church shall develop and utilize a Participatory-Budget process and a Participatory-Planning process.
Not withstanding any other provision of these Canons to the contrary, the Church reserves the right at its sole discretion to create and operate separate for-profit organizations to operate any business or businesses that the IRS would hold as creating more than five percent unrelated business taxable income under 501(c)(3). Such income will nevertheless be used to further the mission of the Church and not for the excess-material hoarding of the membership as a whole or any individual member. Living with just the necessities for bringing forth is sufficient and desirable.
The Church reserves the right at its sole discretion to spin off any division of Church-organizational operations, such as, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
Fundraising to solicit, receive, hold, maintain, and convert, etc., charitable gifts, funds, and other assets and to make distributions of income for the purposes of the Church and at the Church's direction
The Church reserves the right to form Private Land Trusts or 501(c)(2) title-holding corporations (organization) or both.
Congregations, Missions, Communes, and the like In Good Standing
Each of the members of each congregation, mission, commune, or the like must be a member in good standing of the Real Liberal Christian Church denomination.
The Canons (or rules, policies, and procedures, including by any other name) of individual congregations, missions, communes, or the like are subject to thee denominational Canons.
Dissolution of any Congregation, Mission, Commune, or the like
Dissolution of any congregation, mission, commune, or the like within the Real Liberal Christian Church denomination is not anticipated; however, no member, trustee, director, officer, or otherwise, of the denomination, or any private individual shall be entitled to share on dissolution in the distribution of assets of any congregation, mission, commune, or the like.
Should a division occur within any said congregation, mission, commune, or the like, its property, real and personal, shall belong to that part of such congregation, mission, commune, or the like, regardless of size, which in the sole estimation of the Church board (denominational) remains most faithful to the Articles of Association and to the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons, or Continuing Resolutions), Policies and Procedures, and religious doctrine of the whole Church.
Should any congregation, mission, commune, or the like (a) decide to no longer affiliate with the denomination or (b) no longer adhere to the Articles of Association and to the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons, or Continuing Resolutions), Policies and Procedures, or religious doctrine of the denomination or (c) decide to stop functioning as a body or (d) decide to dissolve or (e) dissolve by virtue of any disaster, its property, real and personal, shall remain the property of the denomination at the denomination's headquarters. All properties of said congregation, mission, commune, or the like, are to be deeded to the Real Liberal Christian Church denominational headquarters at its then location and deeded in a form acceptable to the denomination.
All those who join the Church will go through training in the Canons, Continuing Resolutions, any Grants or Charters (as defined in the Canons or Continuing Resolutions), the Policies and Procedures (covering but not limited to conflict resolution, confidentiality, counseling, and church discipline), and the religious doctrine of the Church. They will understand and acknowledge in their hearts that members in good standing abide by, and remain faithful to, those documents and their training.
The disciples of Jesus were trained by Jesus before they were sent out into the world. They became the seeds of the body of Jesus's Church, our Church.
Until a person has successfully completed the training, he or she will be considered as an oblate: One who is preparing for entering into a commune or who are those who will not live within a commune but who will support the communes and live as much by the principles of God, Christ, and the Church and its commune rules as possible.
The Church does not, and will not, discriminate in membership on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
Members of the Church will be free of membership in any other religion or denominations or church.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more so under the law of God, the Church will discriminate in membership on account of religion.
Members of the Church will be free of voluntary membership in any organization that is ecumenical or syncretic in a downward direction (see the applicable sections of There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist for an understanding of "syncretism down"). This would include, for instance, the Free Masons.
This does not mean that real Christians may not communicate with members of such groups. In fact, communication for the purpose of proselytizing is Christian.
Membership here means agreeing with any tenet of syncretism down that is away from the spirit of Jesus as being the one and only path to God.
Members will love the Real Liberal Christian Church, which is its people.<;;;;/p>;
To satisfy the mundane authorities, upon successful completion of training, each incoming member will receive a certificate of membership indicating the training the new member has completed. His or her name will be added to the membership roll of the Church.
Only members in good standing may vote on Church matters.
Rebuke and Excommunication
Rebuke shall be per Matthew 18:15-17 as follows:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Concerning Matthew 18:16 if met with persistent resistance, are the allegations able to be substantiated? If not, the member(s) still has the right to take the matter to the wider Church body.
Concerning Matthew 18:15-17, the other members must be discerning and take care not to judge and condemn. The idea is salvation, not to destroy souls. Again, where there is continued resistance, are the allegations able to be substantiated? What are the fruits?
Concerning Matthew 18:17, to treat someone as an unrepentant heathen and publican is to decide that he or she is a decided nonbeliever and on the level of a tribute collector for caesar of the Roman Empire. By virtue of his or her actions or inactions, that person is not a member of the Church and must be so informed.
Also concerning Matthew 18:15-17 and not withstanding any other provision to the contrary, this procedure (Matthew 18:15-17) is an irrevocable canon of the Church. No one may be removed for cause as an officer or as a member without this procedure having been followed to the best of the ability of every member involved.
We must understand the meaning of the word "cause" here. It means here what Jesus meant when he said the following:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22).
We must have real cause to warn, rebuke, or acknowledge non-membership in the body, and the like.
We must avoid falling into the error that is coming, namely betrayal (delivery into the hands of the enemy: The satanic spirit) of even the repentant and atoning.
Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. (Mark 13:12).
We must not go further. We must leave things where Matthew 18:15-17 leaves things; otherwise, we will fall into grave error.
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:25).
We must never have surreptitious motives to seek to change the character of the Church away from the founding spirit through changing the makeup of the board or committees or the like to corrupt the Canons altering them away from the spirit of the new commandment and real liberalism as interpreted in the founding documents as originally drafted.
Members may work for the Church and live in a not-for-profit collective cooperative on Church commons when space is available. The excommunicated may not; otherwise, there would be no haven for those who seek righteousness. More importantly, the purpose and mission of the Church would be severely set back. The Church is about saving those who don't reject the voice of the good shepherd. Those who do reject it are not of the saved fold. This is not unjust harshness or coerciveness on the part of the Church. Jesus taught us to shake the dust from our feet, let the dead bury the dead, and many other things consistent with reconciling all these things without falling into hypocrisy.
The Spirit of Correction
Ego must be taken out of the equation on the part of the one who has strayed or is straying.
Those who do not wish correction have no place in the Church.
Do not join the Church if you do not wish to be rebuked for cause or if you do not wish to be contrite when rightfully rebuked under the scriptural intent of Jesus Christ or if you think you have already reached perfection and no longer ever fall to the temptation of self-centered feelings.
Rebuke (constructive criticism) to gain a brother or sister is not abuse. It is saving. It is not adverse. It is beneficial, fruitful in the Gospel sense.
The Church is no excuse for sadistic pleasure in browbeating anyone. It is though committed to truth for its sake. We aren't to be about finding fault in others. We are to be about soul searching and helping each other in that process. Giving and receiving constructive criticism in the spirit of love on the order of Jesus Christ is right. Anything else is evil.
Conceit, pride, and self-esteem must not be part of the motivation of one gaining someone. There is no gaining where there is such egoism and selfishness. Humility is always in order.
Confidentiality and Nondisclosure
To protect the membership from mundane defamation, only members in good standing may be present during any rebuke or counseling of members by the Church.
All members will keep confidential and not divulge to non-members the content of any rebuke and counseling by the Church. This provision is subject to reporting requirements concerning abuse contained in these Canons.
Members will keep confidential and not disclose the confidences of the Church. If Matthew 18:15 is successful, keep it between you. If Matthew 18:16 is successful, keep it among the witnesses. Whether or not Matthew 18:17 is successful, keep it within the Church. This Confidentiality and Nondisclosure is subject to the secular laws that provides for clergy-penitent privilege (confessional) and pastoral-counseling privilege, meaning protected, confidential communications.
Many states in the US require clergy to report cases of neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual molestation concerning anyone under eighteen.
These are judgment calls. Physical abuse, in the mundane, is ambiguous. The states are not uniform concerning physical discipline or punishment. The Church is opposed to it. Sexual molestation offers much less mundane ambiguity.
See to the spiritual health of the flock, and the mundane law will be moot.
Church Procedures for Conflict Resolution shall be detailed in Church Policies and Procedures.
The members will exhaust the Church procedures for resolving conflicts.
Mediation and Binding Arbitration
If ever there is a claim or dispute within the Church that is not resolved through the exhaustion of other Church procedures, the members will resolve the claim or dispute by submitting the matter to mediation and, if mediation is unsuccessful, to legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker® Ministries (complete text of the Rules is available at www.Peacemaker.net). Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. The Church members understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim within the Church that is not resolved through the exhaustion of Church procedures and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another or the Church for such disputes or claims, except to enforce an arbitration decision.
Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation
For the purposes of these Canons, the then pertaining Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation will be used in any mediation or arbitration hereunder. The said then pertaining rules are incorporated herein by this reference.
Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation, as of Thursday, November 02, 2006 (not to be used if there is a later official version by the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker® Ministries).
Giving to the Church
Regarding tithing (that is giving ten percent of gross wages or salary) from those who live outside the communes
Tithing is no hard and fast rule. The amount people give is entirely up to each person, family, or group.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. — Paul (2 Corinthians 9:6-14 King James Version).
In case your ear is not accustomed to the King James Version, the following is 2 Corinthians 9:6-14 from the New Revised Standard Version:
Remember that the person who sows few seeds will have a small crop; the one who sows many seeds will have a large crop. You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. As the scripture says: "He gives generously to the needy; his kindness lasts for ever." And God, who supplies seed to sow and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God's people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown you.
Please take particular notice of the words "bountifulness" and "liberal." Paul is saying that on account of the real liberal devising and loving cooperation and contribution of a proportion of what God has given the people, God will increase the bounty. This is what Isaiah was saying. This is what Jesus demonstrated on the highest level when he fed the five thousand.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. — Jesus (Luke 6:38).
Let it pour from God through you out to all through the most real liberal devices of the Church.
Irenaeus put it exceedingly well around AD 180 (approximately one hundred ten years after the Romans crushed the Jewish revolt)
... instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share all our possessions with the poor; and not to love our neighbours only, but even our enemies; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods. For "to him that taketh away thy coat," He says, "give to him thy cloak also; and from him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again; and as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye unto them:" so that we may not grieve as those who are unwilling to be defrauded, but may rejoice as those who have given willingly, and as rather conferring a favour upon our neighbours than yielding to necessity. "And if any one," He says, "shall compel thee [to go] a mile, go with him twain;" so that thou mayest not follow him as a slave, but may as a free man go before him, showing thyself in all things kindly disposed and useful to thy neighbour, not regarding their evil intentions, but performing thy kind offices, assimilating thyself to the Father, "who maketh His sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and unjust." Now all these [precepts], as I have already observed, were not [the injunctions] of one doing away with the law, but of one fulfilling, extending, and widening it among us; just as if one should say, that the more extensive operation of liberty implies that a more complete subjection and affection towards our Liberator had been implanted within us. For He did not set us free for this purpose, that we should depart from Him (no one, indeed, while placed out of reach of the Lord's benefits, has power to procure for himself the means of salvation), but that the more we receive His grace, the more we should love Him. Now the more we have loved Him, the more glory shall we receive from Him, when we are continually in the presence of the Father.
Note: IrenÃ¦us. Against Heresies. Book IV. Chapter XIII. Paragraph 3. Found in the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume I. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Pages 477-478. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xiv.html. (last accessed: Monday, November 13, 2006).
Why are the Ante-Nicene Fathers important? The Ante-Nicene Fathers are writings that came before Constantine I (emperor of Rome) wrecked the Church with militarism, war, violence, the greed of empire, paganism, and all sorts of other selfish and lustful distortions. He attempted to co-opt and merge the faith with the worldly, satanic way. This led the church to sanction military orders such as the Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights of the Crusades and also led to the Inquisitions. These were abominable: Anti-Christian.
At the same time, let us examine and understand what Jesus said in Matthew 23:23, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Jesus said that they were to tithe. This does not mean that less was unacceptable or that more was not better. They promised to tithed, so they ought to have kept that promise, which apparently they did in this instance. Keeping the tithing promise was not enough, however. In addition to giving firstfruits (a non-quantified amount for the clergy to sustain them and their work) and at least a ten-percent proportion of the whole harvest, they were to keep the "weightier matters."
Therefore, tithe if you are able. Do more if you are able. Trust in God. Open your heart. Soften it towards the mission of the Church. We will do more together in harmony and unity than alone. We will magnify the light (real love and real peace, truth that they are), the glory of God. Just be sure to do the weightier matters.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. — Jesus (Matthew 5:20).
The Church does, not and will not, discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age (under the US Age Discrimination in Employment Act), or disability (under the US Americans with Disabilities Act).
Under Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, more so under the law of God, the Church reserves the right to discriminate in employment on account of religion, denomination, and, therefore, also sexual orientation and transsexualism or any other thing that runs contrary to the Church.
If the Church hires anyone who is not a member of the Church or who employs homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, or the like, it will not constitute a waiver on the part of the Church.
Our initial work, There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist, focused upon the self-styled ideologically conservative, Republican Christians. Many of them are fundamentalists (literalists) who subscribe to the notion that the King James Version, Authorized Version, (KJV AV) is the only pure scripture available, that it was divinely protected.
We have also used the Authorized Version (1987 printing) on our website for that same reason.
To clarify, we have used it to better enable us to reach the misguided, the so-called fundamentalists. That has been our sole purpose in using the Authorized Version.
The Real Liberal Christian Church knows that the truth lies between those on both ends who vehemently condemn and defend the KJV AV.
We hold that it is wise to take all versions with at least a grain of salt. Each reflects the biases of its translators. This is not to say that there is no one who makes a valiant effort at re-arriving at the original text. Invariably, full intent of the author is lost in translation. Also, with the passage of so much time, the sense meanings, what was revealed at the time of the original writing by virtue of word choice from amongst the usage at the time, cannot be fully recaptured by mere scholarship or archeological finds.
There are too many versions available to name here. Suffice it to say that the new commandment is stated in the KJV. There is no excuse for those who are of the KJV-only school of thought not to adhere to that commandment in all its implications.
The members of the RLCC are encouraged to conduct research and to weigh the evidence and discuss and write about their findings, etc., with the caveat that they must understand the agenda of some who use what is termed "textual criticism" and other approaches as a slippery slope into the bottomless pit.
In addition to the sixty six books recognized by the fundamentalists, there are also additional books from the Septuagint known as the Apocrypha.
Additions to Esther
Wisdom of Solomon
Letter of Jeremiah
Azariah & Song of Three
Bel and the Dragon
Prayer of Manasseh
There are additional canons as well that we cover in There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
There is nothing wrong with reading these works. We advocate reading the so-called "wide canon," accepting any part that jibes with the spirit of the new commandment and rejecting any part that does not.
For instance, The Didache, which means the teaching and is also known as The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations, is interesting but noncanonical, not law, in the RLCC. This is so, because it says a prophet is false if he stays with anyone for more than two days and that a prophet is false if he raises funds. Certainly when Jesus told them to give to the poor, he was raising funds for the poor. When the followers spread the word to lay all their possessions at the feet of the Apostles for the sake of righteousness, those followers certainly were raising funds for egalitarianism and humanitarianism. As for how long to remain somewhere, that is situational. One must be guided by the Holy Spirit. How long does it take to establish a Church or commune or the like?
4 Maccabees is another prime example. It curses the king who orders the torturing to death of those who would not forswear God. Such cursing is not Christian.
The Church may amend from time-to-time its Articles of Association.
The Church reserves the right to change its organizational form from an association to a corporation or any other form then mundanely legally allowable and consistent with the tenor of Canons as the Church deems as its members are moved by the Holy Spirit.
An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total board is required to amend the Articles of Association, these Canons, or to alter the form of organization of the Church except that the Articles of Association, these Canons, and the form of organization may be amended by an affirmative vote of fifty percent (50%) of the members plus one vote.
That said "fifty percent (50%) of the members plus one" may override the board.
Policies and procedures for egalitarian referenda and initiatives will be developed and implemented at the Church's earliest opportunity.
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