Faithful Disagreement


n Community of Christ, we embrace what we call "faithful disagreement." This concept is all about how someone might have a different opinion on certain church policies, beliefs, or directions, yet still deeply cares about and supports the overall mission and values of our community. It's about offering constructive feedback or expressing differing views in a way that's respectful, supportive, and aligned with our commitment to following what we believe is God's guidance for us. When someone disagrees in this way, they're not only allowed but encouraged to share their perspective. The goal isn't to point fingers or label anyone as unfaithful; it's about enriching our collective understanding and response to divine guidance, making our community stronger and more united in our shared purpose.

Principles of Faithful Disagreement

Our Enduring Principles Enable Faithful Disagreement
Community of Christ’s Enduring Principles—Blessings of Community, Worth of All Persons, Responsible Choices, and Unity in Diversity—allow for faithful disagreement.
Love for Our Faith Community

The commitment, in general, to the overall identity, mission, message, and beliefs of Community of Christ may serve to keep a person in the faith community even when that person strongly disagrees with a particular position. One’s love for the faith community is stronger than any particular disagreement.

Holding Differing Views

Holding a differing view from Community of Christ position on a specific matter does not lessen in any way a person’s participation as a faithful, generous, committed, and responsible disciple. Nor does having a differing view impact a person’s eligibility to hold a priesthood office or partake in the sacraments.

Respecting Others

A person with a differing viewpoint on a particular position is to be respected by the body. She or he may share a viewpoint as a personal opinion during discussions, meetings, training, and other conversations where it is suitable to share personal opinions.

Prohibition on Exclusion

A person is not to be excluded by a congregation or mission center because of holding a differing viewpoint on a specific Community of Christ position.

Priesthood Members Should Model Proper Behavior

A member or a priesthood member with a differing viewpoint is not to use public-ministry opportunities to speak against the identity, mission, message, or beliefs of Community of Christ. Nor should a member or priesthood member publicly criticize the Community of Christ stance on the particular position with which the person disagrees. Public ministry must focus on proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in ways that align with Community of Christ identity, mission, message, and beliefs.

Agreement Is Not Required

Agreeing with Community of Christ positions, official and unofficial, is not a test of faith for priesthood, members, and friends.

Prohibition on Ignoring Policies

A person cannot ignore policies because he or she disagrees with a particular policy. Ethically, administrators must consistently apply the official policies and procedures of the church.

Creating Genuine Signal Communities

In seeking to create genuine signal communities, we listen respectfully to one another’s viewpoints. In addition, we try to see from each other’s perspective. We trust in each person’s commitment to Christ and motivation to see the mission of Community of Christ flourish. We seek to celebrate our unity while learning from our diversity.

On Continuing Revelation

As a community that embraces Continuing Revelation, we strive always to remain open to the Holy Spirit. We understand that sometimes both individually and collectively we respond wisely to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and sometimes we do not fully understand. Through our vulnerability to the Holy Spirit, we trust God will continue to guide us in refining positions held by Community of Christ.

Policy Disagreement in Church Polity

Various legislative conferences and consent-building methods used by Community of Christ, allow a person holding a differing viewpoint to continue to seek change to the position with which she or he disagrees.