There is a misconception concerning congregations and being a member of a Congregation of Record (COR) or CORE.
So a congregation of record composed of elders is core to the kingdom, but having no corporate nature, they are not one body in a legal sense.
A Congregation of Record CORE is nothing more than an assembly who has given common testimony of recognition of a titular minister who leads the CORE in service to each other, but also to the whole Church established by Christ. They are home churches, but with an eye and heart for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
That service is like the Greek word leitourgia meaning "a public office which a citizen undertakes to administer at his own expense", from which we get the word liturgy.
- "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all." Philippians 2:17
There is no authority of this leader over the people, nor can there be any authority of the people over the minister. There is only free choice in the manner and extent of your contribution to his service.
- "For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;" 2 Corinthians 9:12
Each elder contributes out of the love in his or her heart for their neighbor, both in and out of the congregation, and for the stranger in their midst, in accordance with the purposes of Christ.
- "Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me." Philippians 2:30
Because of the free nature of a gathering called a congregation, there are no real members in a legal sense of the word member as a person of a legal body or corpus.
In law, a legal body's member's individual status affects all the members. We see this in the phrase guilt by association. This is why a congregation should guard against becoming considered an unincorporated association. So to describe someone gathered in such a free assembly, one needs to seek out and understand other terms.
Christ had a solution we call salvation that depends on our willingness to come together in a system of faith, hope and charity under the perfect law of liberty bound by love. This is COR. This is the COR_Solution of Christ.
- Congregant is one term that has been used, for obvious reasons.
- The term communicant could also be applied, because an Elder of a family who has chosen a minister has communicated his desire and intent to be a part of that free assembly bound by charity and the perfect law of liberty.
- Supplicant could also apply, in the sense that those who gather are now praying to the God of charity and love instead of to the gods of force and violence, as most people do.
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Also, and because of the free nature of God's system of government, in becoming a congregant there is no approval required by the other congregants.
It is the minister who recognizes the congregant as a matter of record.
To give the minister a legal but unencumbered identity, a Sacred Purpose Trust [SPT] is created by the offerings of the people. The word Sacred denotes that the substance or corpus of the trust is consecrated to God, and therefore it is not to be considered a normal statutory trust, but yet it has a legally recognizable identity, thanks be to Christ and His sacrifice.
The offering of a SPT forms an Altar of the Church by estoppel, and it becomes a matter of record through the testimony of the people. Each stone of these altars are called His Church.
No minister of His Church should accept a contribution on behalf His Church unless he is going to recognize that that individual is gathering in charity as a congregant of the COR.
Offerings are freely given. They are burnt up to the giver, and the reigns of control are the province of the Minister of His Church. They may express an opinion as to the purpose they desire in prayer, but it is the minister who accepts or rejects the offering, as well as decides its distribution.
If the congregation has the power to determine the use of the funds, they have not truly given it up. Also if the congregation has the power of yea or nay over acceptance or distribution, they enjoy a corporate right.
CORs and Orders
How [does] COR differ from Orders - that is, in the case of the COR [and] an Order?
Your question is appropriate because I could see some confusion here in this matter amongst those in the network.
There are extremely complex spiritual and legal relationships at work in the system or body established by Christ.
It is a multidimensional puzzle that fits together on several different levels.
But like our own natural body, they should be automatic and not require constant attention. They should be natural.
To illustrate part of this relationship:
- Think of a minister in part as a terminal in a network.
He has ten or more connection points where people can congregate around and seek Christ.
By interacting with each other and him, and he interacting with his own minister, all interact with a larger body.
The world does the same, but in the kingdom this is done by empowering the individual to make their own choices but not choices for others.
The minister in God's government was never meant in old or new testament to stand between man and God, but he was to facilitate a network between men -- hopefully men of God.
A man of God is one who eats of the tree of life, as said in the old testament, or he receives the revelations or comfort of God, in spirit, and then he acts upon them, in truth.
We know a connection to God is by acceptance of God as our father, and we draw near him by our sacrifices in love.
If the elders can tell the minister who can or cannot congregate or connect to him, then the minister is directly their servant.
He is to serve them, but as Christ's servant -- not theirs.
Many will want to regulate, and do regulate, their minister in the Churches of the world, but they themselves want to be free. This is not the way of Christ. They must freely give and freely receive.
If the minister is answerable to the directives of the congregation, then they will seek to rule over their minister. The minister belongs to God, not to the people. This is no small thing.
If the people rule or regulate or hue and cry the living stones of God's altar and do it as a body then if any of them have another father as a matter of record that earthly father [Patronus] will have jurisdiction over the office of the minister and therefore the Church in matters of judication. The muster role of the congregation and the Church will bind the minister and the Church.
Even if they do not incorporate the fathers of the earth will claim jurisdiction by association.
This is why offerings are burnt up, entirely given. The power over [reigns of control/kidney] the distribution of offerings must be entirely given to the minister without any encumbrance attached.
By the same measure there can be no power over the minister as to who he can accept or reject.
Yet the power of choice remains entirely in the hands of the congregant but only over himself.
In a practical matter if the minister is accepting people that drive congregants away or practice regular activities that the biblical instructions tell us to avoid or stay away from such as we see in
- 1 Timothy 6:5 "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
- 2 Timothy 3:5 "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Then we may depart from that minister and choose another leaving judgment to God.
That process should include approaching the minister, approaching the overseer and other congregants but that is the choice of the congregant.
In an order the members have left behind all their worldly connections and laid their life down for Christ in word and deed.
There is no other father, such as the fathers of the earth.
Heart of the Assembly
The ministers are dependent on the God of Heaven working in the hearts of the assembly and each other.
For that to be real they need to strive and persevere.
They will need the blessings of God through the hearts of the people. But they also must minister according to law and righteousness.
Acts 19:39-40 "But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse."
The SPT is for the protection of the minister.
Why do we say protection?
- John 5:31 "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
A man is not a church?
A church is a body but how do you form that body without taking or pooling rights?
For example how do you receive contributions?
Are you a church or even a minister because you say so?
You have ways to establish yourself as a minister in the world but not of the world but of the ways of Jesus?
If you are a minister is it because a higher authority has appointed you, say a Pontifex Maximus or the Pope?
Or are you appointed by God and if so who will bear witness to the truth of your claim?
Are you a network of ministers where the highest amongst you is a servant or a man of authority?
- John 5:33 "Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth."
Why did Jesus go to John the Baptist to be baptized by his authority?
- Matthew 3:15 "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
Why did they ask By what authority?
- Matthew 21:23 "And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?"
And why did Jesus answer and say to them Matthew 21:24 -25 "... I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?"
Why was he talking about authority and why did he get the baptism of John?
We know the baptism of the temple was by the authority of Herod so why was the baptism of John and his authority such an issue and why did Jesus think he needed it to be righteous.
- Acts 22:5 "As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren...."
Why do we want the testimony of the people?
Are we afraid to move forward with out that testimony?
Or do we move forward because we are compelled by the spirit within so that all things may be fulfilled?
- Hebrews 12:23 "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
Can any imagine that some preach the whole gospel and go against the heart of the whole world and do these things out of fear of men or out of fear of God respecting his will?
Do you think Jesus sought the testimony of the people in Jerusalem because he was afraid?
Or did Peter try to talk Jesus out of going to Jerusalem because he was afraid for Jesus?
Do you think Jesus was baptized by the authority of John because Jesus was afraid or because He knew the will and ways of God the Father?
What did Jesus tell Peter when Peter tried to say that Jesus did not need to go to Jerusalem and get the support of the people?
If the people are to be free they should bear witness to titular leaders who seek to serve because that is in the heart of the people.
- Exodus 20:25 "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it."
The minister is the living un-hewn stone of the Altar of God.
No one has any say so in what the COR does because it is a free assembly. It also helps the Overseer if needs arise. It also protects the whole church by barring the world.
It is your letter of determination so the minister does not need the IRS's letter of determination... with enough SPTs we make our own determination.
The chain of authentication of the Government of the people, for the people, and by the people begins with the SPT forms which is the prima facia evidence that we are what we say we are.
It is important but by itself it is not enough.
Charity and love complete the parts of the complex puzzle on many dimensions.
Some then wonder that it is the elder who will say who is a minister by my vote/ offering?
You are an Elder by circumstance. An Elder is the elder of a family. The minister testifies that a family is a part of a congregation of record.
He is the one who bears witness that you are a contributing element of a congregation of record and a viable part of the living network.
It is not the people who appoint the minister. God appoints the minister but the world cannot hear God for it has gone out of His presence. So the world needs the testimony of the people to accept the ministry of the servants of God as true.
The world needs to see the testimony of the people in a form they can accept.
The world cannot see God or His ways.
The Way of the World
The way of the world is the way of force and power, control and covetousness. They can see no other way for they are blind to the ways of God. In fact they world will say the ways of the Father in heaven are wicked.
You can see that coming in many areas of society.
The people should only support ministers who are seeking the kingdom of God and the service of God. They should only seek and apply for benefits that are freely given and provided by free will offerings.
It is right that it is testimony by the people that makes that minister a minister of the people from the point of view of the world.
It is also right that it is testimony by God through that minister that makes that minister a minister of the God from the point of view of the people who should testify of that minister to create an office from which they may work.
We call that an office of His Church, and each His Church is a separate un-hewn stone of one altar.
Woe unto the minister who claims to serve the God of heaven and comes to serve himself.
Once someone testifies to the truth of God's servants God will bless him/her accordingly.
The servants of God are already blessed as they do the will of the Father.
So in recognizing by written testimony the servants of God the people are blessed because they are reaching out to protect His servants.
We have seen in the Bible where people are blessed and protected by God because they blessed and protected His servants.
- Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
Votaries and Congregants
How does God want you to govern yourself in this world?
How does the perfect law of liberty work?
Have you been seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness?