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Author Topic: The Rio Church Statement  (Read 1028 times)
Linda
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« on: June 24, 2019, 01:20:47 pm »

So far The Rio Church is the only church to identify publicly with the newly formed M28 Alliance. I was shocked to see this in their "Statement of Faith".

At least they are honest about their bad theology.

I'd like to think that a little seminary training (or a bit of reading of church history) would keep people from suggesting that the pastors of a church are the "final interpretive authority".

Honestly, it's getting weirder by the minute. Pretty soon they will have a pope of their very own! You know, keep the Bible out of the hands of those who are "untrained" to interpret. It's not like the Holy Spirit can speak to just anyone, you know, only pastors duly appointed in a line of apostolic succession dating way back to 1970 when three guys (McCotter, Martindale, and Clark) appointed each other apostles and started this mess.

Final Authority for Matters
of Belief and Conduct
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God (that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind), is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of the Rio Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our pastors are the Rio Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 01:23:47 pm by Linda » Logged

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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 08:11:43 pm »

Thank you, Linda.

That “final interpretive authority” statement is actually the practice so many of us were actually under in GCx churches.  It helps others to see how ridiculous it is spelled out in black and white.

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Linda
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 08:48:46 pm »

I forgot to attach the link to the first post. Here it is.

http://theriochurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Statement-of-Faith-Letter-sized-Dec-2018-1.pdf

Perhaps they are just trying to say the pastors call the shots at their church, not the congregation. It's just odd that a Protestant church would use the phrase "final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application" in describing the pastor.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 06:35:13 am by Linda » Logged

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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 10:52:19 am »

That statement is really weird and shocking, Linda. In other words, they are saying that no one is to question the pastors and the way they decide to interpret any text in the entire Bible or how to apply it. What a controlling, scary, cultish "church". I will never forget when my husband and I questioned the Tithing booklet written by Jim McCotter, and how we were threatened with being put out of the church.

 Pretty soon these pastors may be claiming to be Apostles like Jim McCotter tried. I'm surprised anyone falls for this, but it's like the frog in the water as it is hard to get out once you are in.

 Hopefully this blatant disregard for the priesthood of believers and the fact that every Christian has the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them into the truth, will inspire many to get out of the abusive systems in GCx.
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 06:39:54 am »

I had noticed this exact same phrasing in the Utah church's statement of faith recently. Is this new phrasing? I wasn't sure. Honest question: I thought it was weird, so I mentioned it to someone (not in this church), who asked isn't that really how all churches operate, even if they don't state it explicitly? For contrast, could people say how other churches might handle this?
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Linda
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 08:02:42 am »

I had noticed this exact same phrasing in the Utah church's statement of faith recently. Is this new phrasing? I wasn't sure. Honest question: I thought it was weird, so I mentioned it to someone (not in this church), who asked isn't that really how all churches operate, even if they don't state it explicitly? For contrast, could people say how other churches might handle this?

I don't know if it's new. I had never really read the statements before. I'll have to look a the Utah church statement. You raise some good questions.

A few thoughts.

The part of the statement that caught my attention in a big way was the use of the phrase "final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application". In light of the Reformation, it is just odd that a Protestant church would say anything that implied that the pastors/church leaders were the final interpretive authority on the Bible.

That said, here are a few things that come to mind.

In a many "normal" churches, in fact in most churches that I know of,  the elders are the final governing board of the church. They are responsible for the theology, practice, and church discipline. That is not unusual.

However, also in "normal" churches, the congregation (made up of believers who have been given unique gifts by the Holy Spirit, including gifts  like "discernment") elects the elders. Contrary to GCC belief, the congregation electing elders is NOT a "congregational" church. (They would know this if they went to seminary...or read a book or two on church government. They think they are "presbyterian" because they have "elders". They are not. Again, a little book learning is a good thing, but I digress.) What is happening in GCC churches is that the elders are in no way accountable to the congregation and this is a dangerous thing. It is dangerous for them and it is dangerous for the congregation.

For example, at the Rio Church, it looks like a couple of guys are calling all the shots. What happens if these guys interpret the Bible in a way that is contrary to orthodox Christianity? What recourse do the members of the congregation have? These are pretty much self-appointed men. (I know, technically they are appointed by men who were appointed by other men all the way back to Jim McCotter who appointed himself.) This lack of accountability combined with bad theology taught since it's inception is why you get people like Brent Knox teaching that members of the congregation are to "give the controls (of their lives) over to" the pastors, and no one bats an eye because from the time they came to faith, no one dared challenge this terrible teaching.

Also, a Christian going to a "normal" church doesn't understand that this is a system of pastors appointing pastors. Nor do they understand that the "Biblical" authority they wield involves telling people who to marry, or when, or whether or not to go to college, or calling people slanderers if they disagree, or writing people's children letters rebuking their parents all in the name of "final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application. So, asking an outsider these questions is tricky because they don't understand the faulty system we are dealing with.

My general thought is that a legit pastor would never tell anyone he is the final authority on interpretation of the Bible. That said, a legitimately elected elder board and pastor has limited authority and it revolves around the theological beliefs taught by the church and the preaching of the Word. If the church does believer's baptisms only, a member should not expect an infant baptism. If a pastor confronts someone committing adultery, that is legit.

A couple of guys at a church calling all the shots and claiming final interpretive authority of Scripture should raise a huge red flag.

As we all know from the ECC situation last year, several elders knew of inappropriate behavior and did not take appropriate action for whatever reason. This group prides itself on character, yet a number of them proved they lacked character by their actions, or, as it turns out, inaction. Sometimes calling all the shots is an excuse for covering up bad behavior.
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 04:17:34 pm »

Thanks for taking the time to explain. That makes sense!
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