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About ULCneo

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  1. Which creates a bit of a circular problem- It's illegal to accept donations without incorporating. (tends to run afoul of criminal fraud laws and/or money laundering laws, among other things.) But, in some states you can't even incorporate unless you have an established place of worship. Hence, the law requires "building first" in some states. Unless of course, you want to front your own money for rental of space OR you have a house with gracious neighbors that don't end up complaining about you to the police.
  2. Enemies

    First I think you fail to see that I don't even use "Higher Power" in the context of a form of "religion" say per. I use it rather loosely in terms expressed in 12-step programs such as AA/NA. BUT, how do you know that "your own conscience" isn't defective? What? is it built in complete with an cyclic-redunant error checking system? Psychopaths don't THINK they have any problem whatsoever based upon their own conscience (which exists in defective form)- rather its "everyone else" that has the "problem". So therefore, one has to subject their "Conscience" to an outside source as a standard of measure. Further we also know that intoxicants alter one's conscience over time in ways that are not obvious. Further we have in psychology what we refer to as "cognitive distortions". I'll let you do your own research on that.
  3. Enemies

    Not quite- rather its the "conception" of the majority that builds consensus of definition of terminology. The other definitions of religion have little bearing upon a sense of "spirituality". So then HOW then do you propose that the statement of a lack of belief isn't STILL inherently merely a statement of belief in the negative? A statement of belief in non-existence is STILL, notwithstanding, a statement belief is it not? Otherwise we get to a standard of judgment that atheism because it is NOT a "religion" (i.e. it doesn't fit the dictionary definition) isn't afforded first amendment protections under the analysis of strict-construction properly due to first-amendment interpretation. Therefore, we quickly see that your logic gets into dangerous territory.
  4. In ULC V. United States, way back in the 1970s, the ULC admitted under oath to being formally organized as a Christian Church.
  5. Enemies

    There applies the rule of common sense here. There are certain times when violence will forced out of one's hand by virtue of the failure to act- in that violence includes in its definition violence against self. Rather, there comes a point that you have to become reliant on a higher power independent of and outside yourself, least you declare yourself creator of the Universe or subscribe to Darwinist thinking (and mind you Darwinism is deeply flawed- in that the theories are not demonstrated to be in operation anywhere today without explanation.)
  6. Enemies

    Has nothing to do with "conception" of anything so much as it has to do with dictionary definition of the terminology. The dictionary defines "minister" in the following way- "Religion" is defined as-- In order to be as inclusive as possible we might the broadest sense, ie.. a "minister" is a Agent of a religion, or an agent of the powers that be. The thing is that in your last post you represented a "Religion" because a statement of "non religion" is a "Religion" unto itself in its own right, by definition.
  7. Sweet Estate Sale Find

    A 1952 copy is one thing- You know you really have something when it's from the 1800s or early 1900s. By the 50s we were already using relatively current publishing techniques (acid free paper etc.) so finding published material from the 50s still in good condition isn't all that unusual, provided the right storage conditions.
  8. Enemies

    First understand that I DO NOT speak from the standpoint of religions other than Christianity. Not to say that I don't think that people shouldn't be free to practice that which doesn't cause harm to others, BUT I'm NOT going to support other religions in my teaching from the pulpit or elsewhere, because my own religion and faith defines that as being "NOT right" which then runs contrary to the ULC doctrine "to do that which IS right". No, I'm not talking about "my conception" of ministry- Rather, I'm talking about ANY conception of ministry- as I'm sure that everyone agrees that "ministry" must be approached in a spirit of reference towards the religion the minister represents. The Christian scriptures make this clear, and I would be sure that the majority of other religions have a similar concept of sorts- One's ministry has a certain gravity that flows from it. Otherwise you invariably get the state of the blind leading the blind into the proverbial ditch. Furthermore the notion that the ULC doesn't have "standards" is clearly erroneous. The ULC doctrine has a "standard" of a sort, albeit perhaps a very broad one - "To do that which IS right" Notice our doctrine does NOT say "Do that which we THINK is right" or similar- it says "...IS right". The virtue of that is that we have implemented a standard (however broad the standard might be). Within the Sense of Christianity "That which IS right " is that which does not run directly counter to the authority of Scripture". The SPIN is how one "interprets" Scripture, which is either inspired by God (or the powers that be) or it is NOT. If the interpretation is a reasonable one based upon the history and the ground rules of proper construction, and a person is convinced that the revelation came from God (or the powers that be) then so be it. It is NOT the Church's right of power to "DEFINE what is right/wrong", which rests on the following: These two verses establish two things- The verse in Romans tells the church to let every person ("soul") be subject to the powers of God. It therefore flows that it is NOT the ministry's JOB to coerce one to do anything- rather it is the function of the ministry to "Teach, Counsel, and Advise". The verses in Hebrews make clear that it is GOD (not man) that instills the sense of Right and Wrong in the individual- The catch is that God USES man to accomplish that which he would accomplish. However, God DOES NOT use those whom will say that THEY were the ones that did a thing (as most ministers WILL these days, to some extent or another.- They talk about whom *They* won for God as if their doing God some sort of favor- which Scripture calls the Sin of Pride). Therefore the majority of mainline Christianity is far from God, and the ULC doctrine is quite a bit closer to what Scripture actually teaches-- the notion of relationship with God Vs. a Religion that speaks death into the people. (Which most religions do out of some form of legalism.) The ULC draws its theology concerning ordination from the Christian Scriptures where it justifies the "ordination of all" on the basis of the fact that it is NOT man's job to discern the "calling" of another to ministry, among other things. The reliance of the "Priesthood" of all believers however, does NOT filter into the Christian ministry because of the fact that where the Christian Scriptures use the word "Priest" it very clearly means in the sense of the Old-Testament theology- where man had to go THROUGH the priest to have contact or dealings with God-- as opposed to the protestant doctrine that only Christ mediates between man and God, where we have the concept of Christ being "God in the incarnate". Hence in the NT dispensation, the notion then becomes that the minister acts as both the prophet (speaking on behalf of God in the pulpit) AND acts as nothing more than a "teacher and advisor". The minister however is NOT synonymous with the OT doctrine of the Priesthood, within the meaning of Christian doctrine, apart from the sense used within the doctrine Catholicism. Where you say "Now, on a personal level, I do wonder why anyone would discourage me from following my conscience" - Christian scriptures TELL US NOT to rest upon our own consciences- because one's conscience rests upon one's own "understanding" of the world. This hence demonstrates that Man's Conscience can be come seared. Indeed some people don't even have one at all (what we refer to as a Psychopath.) Therefore, one's conscience isn't really an accurate measure of anything- Hitler thought what he was doing was RIGHT in his own conscience, after all. So NO I wouldn't teach you to follow your own conscience, necessarily, because it's neither here nor there in what IS right or wrong.
  9. Enemies

    From the Christian standpoint, God commands us to love our enemies: 1 Corinthians 13 describes what the scriptures mean by "love". Love is not an emotion or sentiment we have for someone, rather it is the choice which governs our actions, particularly when we encounter some of the unpleasant realities of someone Else's humanity. However there is NOTHING loving about letting someone injure you over and over again, either. The philosophy of pacifism lends towards turning into a state of passive-aggression that is not befitting of one's call to ministry.
  10. Risk

    But yet the supreme court dictated in ULC V. United States that the state may not inquire as to the doctrines or specific practices of a religion, provided a "sincere belief" where sincere belief is based upon the authority of a religious text in a reasonable interpretation (which the ULC clearly has.) combined with a substantial number of adherents. (which the ulc also has.) So the question is how is it that such laws involving this matter as to "whom is a church" aren't already stricken from the record to the extent that they require anything more than the "sincere belief" doctrine articulated by the courts? It seems to me that the court has already spoken on such issues, where the federal circuit courts would be forced to reverse the states on a given case on the merits. The current law is that the "state does not define what the church is" (the constitution does that) and the case law is clear that the state "is not to govern ordination in any way." Essentially, I'm not seeing the state arguing anything in support of regulation that hasn't already been struck, unless there's a theory they're presenting I'm unaware of. The 1981 statute is clearly unconstitutional by reason of fourteenth amendment equal-protection clause. The ULC is clearly religion. How can the government say "ministers of religion A can do this, but ministers of religion B can't" ? Such violates the equal-protection clause in a patent and obvious way, unless there is some other substantial argument.
  11. Risk

    No, its not. If the First Amendment were absolute, that would mean that 1) Child pornography law would cease to exist (movies and pictures are the "press") 2) It would mean that Libel and Slander would be lawful (its speech) and 3) it would be legal to scream "fire" in a crowded movie theater. We quickly see that the first amendment must be carefully regulated to avoid harm to society, as a whole. I'm pretty sure that everyone here would agree with that point. The government's position in regulating such is to prevent the clerical title from being watered down to the point of little significant legal import. The error in thinking is the separation clause prohibits such a position in the first place. (the government shouldn't have it's hands in religion) However, religion also shouldn't have it's hands in government. So it really becomes how it is the church's responsibility to preside over the instatement of this legal contract we call "marriage". In this day and age marriage seems to be more of political/civil import than a religious one. (as how many marriages don't take their religious vows seriously?- since in most religions divorce is taboo and to be avoided at best, if it's not considered outright sinful.)
  12. Not quite- education is neutral of, and has nothing to do with religion- You can get a doctorate of theology at Harvard University- which prides itself on it's secular footing. However, even if I'm to say that your correct to say that education=practice we then have the fact that the government has a compelling cause to control education because of the fact that there needs to be some form of a 'standard' as to exactly what should be covered in the particular field of study. We also have the fact that the term "doctor" most usually (to most people anyways) implies an MD, DO, Psy.D., or Ph.D. And hence it is improper for the church to use these terms as "religious" titles- out of the potential harm that one might use the title to defraud someone, to unlawfully practice psychology, etc. Because of the fact that the general public isn't familiar with those types of titles used in a religious context. Hence, such use possess a potential harm to the public if misused by bad actors. (and we don't need to look far to find bad actors in the church, unfortunately. The catholic church has been a sad example of this.)
  13. True, perhaps. Though, it takes time, effort, hard work, and perseverance to launch a church- Though the notion here does have a distinct pro- in that your not forking up a bunch of money for a building and the like, when your just not really sure if the launch is going to stick. I'm not saying it doesn't have its place- I'm just saying it should be evaluated against the other options.
  14. Changing Affiliation For Licensing

    It really makes no difference which ordination one uses- it does not change anything about one's authority from a practical standpoint- rather it only changes which set of papers gets filed in the public record to support the averment that you are "ordained"- which, despite being requirement requisite thereof in most cases, is of no substance to the judicial act of appointing one as a marriage officiant.
  15. Not quite- Ordination stems from religion whereas a degree usually stems from, and is a representation of, education- where the government has the right to control education, under our form of law.