We would like to again express our gratitude for your permission to carry out the proposed process and take this opportunity to address an issue that was raised several times during the voting period…
QUESTION: Why will there be no vote by the main body BEFORE the Statement of Principles is presented to the Lord? What if I disagree with it?
First, the process we have proposed is very similar to what was accomplished with the RE scriptures that were submitted to the Lord for His revision and approval BEFORE we stood as a body of believers to sustain and adopt them as our standard works.
While laboring to recover the scriptures, the scripture committee:
labored with materials they were provided.
collected the voice of the people to help direct, inform, and inspire their work on what to include or exclude.
relied on the faith and trust of the main body of believers as they prepared their work for submission to the Lord with the expectation that He would revise/add/subtract anything that was necessary.
following submission and acceptance from the Lord, the main body then stood to sustain and adopt the work.
The same pattern will be followed with the Statement of Principles: prepare, submit, sustain and then adopt.
Second, what we are now proposing is that we are coming together as a body of people with mutual agreement on two very basic things:
The Doctrine of Christ
The Law of Christ
Furthermore, because we have had such difficulty finding mutually agreeable words for describing the principles of fellowship (designed to guide, bless, and benefit those who are unfamiliar with this form of worship), we have asked that the body of 7 adhere to the criteria outlined in the United Proposal to complete this portion.
To be clear, we do not intend to take anything to the Lord that does not enjoy the support of the vast majority of believers. In other words, while there will always be some who are unhappy with this word or that, if there is something drastically wrong with the document that a large portion of believers cannot accept, then further revision would be necessary. What we do not want is endless debate, discussion, and contention over things that ought to be decided within individual fellowships as situations and circumstances dictate. Therefore, we anticipate that the Statement of Principles will be specific on the Doctrine and Law of Christ and broad/brief on the guide for fellowships. With this, we have every reason to expect that the Lord will indeed accept our submission and make any corrections that are necessary before adoption.
Finally, those of us who have worked on this proposal have a profound sense of respect, love, and understanding for those who have expressed opposition to it. They have valid arguments and solid reasons for why they feel as they do.
At this time, we humbly ask that all please join with their neighbors and friends who are in support of this process and consider submitting names and documents to the central recorder. Let’s give this our best shot at success and see what the Lord has in store for us. We may fail, but then again, it is just possible that we may all be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. We realize that the drawing of lots is not the ONLY way to work together on a statement of principles, however, it appears to be a very peaceable way to proceed and has been used by the Lord throughout time. The idea to proceed in this manner was conceived in love and good intent by many people. Please pray for and be kind to those who will be called to serve the main body in this capacity; pray that they may find the temperament and the words necessary to complete the assignment in a way that we may all recognize and respect and rejoice over, guided by the Spirit of the Lord; that they will labor with the understanding that “how (we) proceed must be as noble as the cause (we) seek”. It is our sincere and deepest wish that through the accomplishment of this task that bruised and wounded hearts may be healed and that we can love one another.
Again, please visit the Recorder’s Clearinghouse website for complete information on the next steps in this process.