LC: 1. RESPONSIBILITIES OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS
The Responsibilities of Individual Members outlines what Charter Members are responsible to do if they wish to remain Charter Members. Charter Family members are already fulfilling these responsibilities, so defining them merely reflects the way we are presently living.
Of course, no one is perfect, and if at some time you fail in fulfilling some of these responsibilities it won't necessarily result in your losing your Charter membership. However, if you regularly fail to fulfill them, or violate or contravene them, you will be in danger of losing your Charter membership by being moved to Fellow Member status.
These responsibilities are very important, as they outline our standard of discipleship and are the criterion for remaining a part of the Charter Family.
Charter Members should:
A. Maintain a close connection with God through personal communion with Jesus, personal and united prayer and praise, personal and united reading of His Word (both the Bible and the Letters), Scripture memorization, and the minimizing and resisting of ungodly and unedifying influences in their lives; thus exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are: "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" (Galatians 5:22,23).
As Charter Members, each of us should strive to have a deep relationship with Jesus through prayer, praise, the written Word and personal prophecy. As disciples we should pray, both individually and with others, and we should strengthen our spirits by spiritually feasting upon God's Word, privately and unitedly.
We should also "resist the Devil" (James 4:7) by actively striving to minimize the ungodly and unedifying influences in our lives. These ungodly and unedifying influences could be anything that pulls us away from the Lord or pollutes our spirit, mind or heart with "junk food" of the spirit and hinders our connection with God. This would include the reading of unedifying or ungodly material, or the watching of unedifying videos, movies or TV, playing unedifying computer games, or listening to ungodly music.
Undoubtedly our day-to-day work and outreach will put us in positions where we might come in contact with ungodly and unedifying influences, but we should attempt to minimize them by not intentionally inflicting upon ourselves those things that we know to be ungodly or unedifying.
We want to be a sample of His Love to others.--To constantly practice walking in Love and in His Spirit, manifesting in our lives the fruits of the Spirit. ... We are striving to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" and to let Him make us into the kind of loving, Christ-like people He wants us to be (Maria #76:8).
B. Believe that David was God's Endtime Prophet and that Maria is God's chosen and anointed successor, who has inherited David's mantle as God's Prophetess.
There are a number of differences between the churches and us, but the main one is that God gave us David, His Endtime Prophet, as our founder, shepherd and leader. Through the years Dad trained Maria as his successor, and with his passing, the Lord has anointed her as His Prophetess and Shepherdess of the Family. Years ago, in prophecy through Dad the Lord said, "When David is taken from thee, you shall be known as a prophetess, and you shall be heeded as the Oracles of God and you shall become as another one--as the Prophetess of God!" (ML #111:22.) We know by the wonderful fruit of Dad and Mama's ministry, the billions reached with the Gospel and the millions of souls saved through the Family, that they are called and chosen of God.
All the successful moves of God throughout time and the Bible were led by God's chosen man for that time and purpose. Read your Bible and Church history and you'll see this always has been true (ML #161:40).
If you think you can be a part of God's mighty movement without following its leadership--His chosen leadership--you are mistaken! (ML #155:31.)
When I'm gone, [Maria] will inherit that power and that mantle and she will be the channel. So don't think that my death is going to kill the movement! But you are going to do better than ever, do you understand? Because you're still going to have the same spiritual leadership that you had before: Jesus Christ and dear little Maria (ML #706:62,70,71).
C. Believe and teach the Family's fundamental beliefs, both Biblical and revealed, as published in our "Statement of Faith," or otherwise declared as such in a publication with a ML number.
The Lord, through the Bible, Dad, Mama and Peter, has poured forth an immense amount of teaching, training, guidance, spiritual truths, revelations and direction. The Bible and the Letters embody our religious beliefs and doctrine. These beliefs vary in importance, but some are an integral and essential part of our faith, which as Charter Members we must believe and teach.
Our "Statement of Faith" articulates most of the Family's fundamental beliefs, as it includes the following subjects: The Scriptures, God, Creation, the fall of man, Jesus Christ the Son of God, the way of salvation, the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit, angels, spirits, departed saints, Satan, demons, spiritual warfare, prayer, divine healing, the fellowship of believers, the Lord's Supper, the Church, the Great Commission, consecration, separation from the World, persecution for righteousness' sake, discipleship, cooperative communal living, children, the sanctity of life, civil government and religious liberty, as well as a personal belief in Bible prophecy indicating that we are living in the Endtime.
We also have other beliefs that are explained in published MLs, which we consider to be fundamental and essential, that are not included in the "Statement of Faith," such as the Law of Love. (The Law of Love is further defined in point F of the Responsibilities of Individual Members, and referred to in other places throughout the Charter.) Also, the use of prophecy as one of the means to determine the Lord's will. (For more on prophecy see Prophecy Rules.)
Obviously not every Letter or publication from World Services contains fundamental or essential beliefs. There are over 3,000 Letters that have now been published on a myriad of subjects. Contained within them is a wide variety of teaching and revelations, of dreams and spiritual experiences, of advice and counsel on both spiritual and practical matters. Some of this is fundamental and essential to our belief system and some is not.
For example, salvation by grace, eternal salvation, prophecy and a belief in spiritual warfare, angels and departed saints are all essential Family beliefs. You can't be a Charter Member unless you believe these truths. The same holds true with such doctrines as Creation as God outlined it in Genesis, that Jesus is the Son of God, etc.
There are, however, times when Dad has made statements in the Letters to the effect of, "This is what I feel about this subject, but you don't have to believe it if you don't want to." In such a case, what Dad has said would be part of the totality of our beliefs, but it would not be considered an essential one. Another example of a non-essential belief would be the "Trailer Series" ("Have Trailer, Will Travel!") which Dad wrote some years ago, in which he expounded on living in trailers or caravans. Those Letters are part of our beliefs but are not considered to be fundamental or essential.
As Charter Members, we are expected to believe and teach the Family's fundamental and essential beliefs. As mentioned earlier, most of these are compiled in the "Statement of Faith" for your reference. This is not to say that the "Statement of Faith" supersedes the Letters; it's just that, at the present time it is the only publication that contains a comprehensive list of almost all of our fundamental beliefs.
Our other Family Statements also contain a great deal of description on all facets of our Family life and beliefs, but the "Statement of Faith" deals specifically with our basic beliefs. Of course, these fundamental beliefs are more completely expounded upon in the Letters, and this is where you should go in order to gain a more thorough understanding of them.
In the future, when the Lord gives something new to Mama and Peter, which is to become a fundamental Family belief, it will be officially stated as such and published in a GN or publication bearing a Letter number.
If you want to know what the Lord has revealed to us on how to run His Revolution, you've got to read the MO Letters! You've got to listen to what He's told us to do and how to do it (ML #161:38).
The inspired and the revelatory [MO Letters] are still true and as helpful as ever, just as when God gave them, but the long diatribes and lengthy business Letters on the endless details of the affairs of the moment ... are soon out of date and no longer appropriate (ML #311B:10).
I think we all heartily agree on all the fundamentals and all the major doctrines and the things that are really essential. So we don't need to split theological hairs over some of these little things that I say, "Well, it may be, it may not be, I can't prove it. It's my opinion, my private interpretation, you don't have to believe it!" But what the Scripture says, that's it! You'd better agree with this! (ML #2234:27).
D. Live in accordance with the Word by endeavoring to apply the spiritual and practical counsel given in the Letters to their daily lives.
Not every Letter is designated by WS to be a fundamental or essential belief, meaning that if you don't believe and practice it, you will lose your Charter membership. Every Letter does, however, contain spiritual or practical guidance, counsel and instruction, which as Charter Members you are expected to conscientiously apply to your life and Home.
Of course, there are certain older Letters and publications that don't apply as much today as they did when they were written years ago, as some of our methods and means of accomplishing our job of reaching the world with the Gospel have changed over the years. The Letters, however, contain God's counsel for the Family, and as Family members we should do our best to please God by following the preponderance of the guidance He's given in His Word. (See also Word Rules, B.)
E. Read the Bible, the Letters, and other Family publications, both old and new.
God's Word says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). In order to strengthen our faith, and to be in tune with the Lord and the directions that He is giving the Family, it is imperative that we read and study His Word, both the Bible and the Letters and other WS publications, for they contain a wealth of needed counsel, direction and spiritual feeding.
For this reason it is required that members spend a minimum of 1 hour daily (or 10 hours weekly) in communion with the Lord through the reading of His Word and other WS publications (privately or unitedly), prayer or and hearing from the Lord in prophecy. New disciples under one year in the Family must spend an additional 1 hour per day in the Word, or 17 hours weekly total, in order to complete the reading and studying of the full foundation course for new disciples, as well as to complete their basic memory work. (See Word Rules, A.)
So that's the secret--the Word!--The secret of power and victory and overcoming and fruitfulness and fire and life and warmth and light and leadership, everything, is the Word! (ML #1089:63.)
Some people need the Bible and some people need MO, and frankly, I think the Family needs both! (ML #1691:11.)
F. Endeavor to live by the principles of the Law of Love: To love and care for, and interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of the Home in which they reside and with Family members at large.
Dad succinctly explained the Law of Love in the following quote.
"'Love doeth thy neighbor no harm,' for 'thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself': This is God's Law of Love! 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' 'Against such love there is no law.' This is the Lord's Law of Love. Obey it and you can have total love, life and liberty in the Lord. These are God's conditions. (Romans 13:10; Matthew 22:39; Matthew 7:12; Galatians 5:22,23.)" (ML #302C:8; DB1.)
Many have the idea that the Law of Love concerns only sexual matters.--This is not so, as the Law of Love governs all of our actions and is the basis for all of our Family rules, rights and responsibilities.
This clause in the Charter is one of the most important, as it sets the tone for all that is to follow. The Charter grants a number of rights for our members in order to allow them to operate according to their faith. It also gives each individual much more authority over what happens in their Home. But the reason for giving these rights is not to create a "me first" attitude, where we put our "rights" above all other concerns. Unselfish love, the love that puts the needs of others before our own, the great love that lays down its life for others, the Love of God in our hearts, that is the heart and soul of this Charter. Without love, it is just a listing of rules, regulations and laws.
If we implement the Charter without love, the end result could be an organization with members who are looking out mainly for themselves. If it is implemented with the main ingredient being the Love of God, it will result in a stronger Family, with wise, loving and full-of-faith brothers and sisters.
The implementation of the Charter is going to be a test of our spiritual maturity. Daily we will be faced with situations in which we will have to decide if we are going to put our individual wants and desires above the needs of others. It will measure our prayerfulness, our unselfishness and our love for others.
When we find ourselves voting on matters within the Home, we must vote according to what we believe is God's will, and what is the loving and Godly thing to do. Remember the Law of Love: "Love doeth thy neighbor no harm." With the Charter, we are each responsible to live the Law of Love. "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another" (John 13:35).
"Whatsoever you do in word or in deed, do all to the glory of God!" That's our rule, God's rule. What are the greatest commandments? "Love God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself!" (ML #292:29.)
Love is the stricter law in the long run because it really goes further than anything else does. The Old Law was only obeyed because they had to and they were made to and they would only do as much as they were made to do, whereas love goes all the way! It'll go to the death and die for someone else to do the right thing (ML #1705:25).
G. Engage in evangelism.
The Lord has called all Christians to partake in the Great Commission: "Go ye into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We have answered that call, and as such, we have a commitment to win others to Jesus by dedicating ourselves to the goal of preaching the Gospel to every creature.
The definition of evangelism is "zealous preaching and dissemination of the Gospel, such as through missionary work." We felt this was the appropriate way to express the concept of both witnessing to the unsaved and follow-up feeding, which includes teaching the Word to those who are saved. We considered wording this point, "Regularly engages in witnessing," but if you were in a situation where you had so many sheep that were already saved and you were teaching them regular classes, you might not consider that "witnessing," but it would be considered evangelism. The main point is that we must all be working to "preach the Gospel to every creature."
If the Revolution is anything at all, it is a soul-winning, disciple-winning revolution or it is nothing at all!... The Revolution was born in the white-hot fires of a soul winning ... and a disciple-gaining movement! (ML #328B:79.)
Unless you witness, I don't believe you love your fellow man! If you don't love your fellow man, I don't believe you love God (ML #2531:2).
H. Live in accordance with the "Charter of Responsibilities and Rights," and the "Fundamental Family Rules," which are determined, defined, and published by World Services.
The "Fundamental Family Rules" is a separate section at the end of the "Charter of Responsibilities and Rights." Within it are both behavioral and procedural rules, which Charter Family members are expected to follow. Charter Members who violate these rules will be disciplined according to the severity of the infractions of these rules.
There are approximately 100 behavioral rules, which cover all major aspects of our lives, including prophecy, finances, outreach, sex and affection, food and drink, get-out, driving, health and hygiene, marriage and separation, home life, scholastics, schedules and excommunication, as well as required meetings and activities.
Prior to this Charter there were over 600 "Family rules" loosely outlined in the Letters and other pubs! Although these former "Family rules" no longer constitute rules which members can lose their Charter Member status for breaking, they are still very good guidelines for our lives that will help us to do a better job for the Lord. Some of them your Home may decide to implement as Home regulations.
In choosing the rules that were included in the "Fundamental Family Rules" we prayerfully chose those which we felt were the most important for the Family. After selecting them, we consulted with Family members from all walks of Family life to ensure that these rules would be practical and workable. We pray that you will find them so.
Human beings simply need rules as guidelines to help them do a good job and work in unity with each other and accomplish what they need to do (ML #2857:43).
I. Reside in a Charter Home and appear on a Home's monthly report each month. (See World Service Reporting and Mailing Rules, A., as well as Right of Mobility, A. 7.)
J. Share their material belongings with the Family in general, and with the Home where they reside in particular, according to Acts 2:44-45, and be good stewards of all Family materials.
1. While 16- and 17-year-olds are not held responsible for the Home's financial decisions and obligations, they are still required to live according to Acts 2:44-45 when it comes to funds they raise either through outreach or secular employment or donations they receive.
Our Family believes in Acts 2:44-45, which says, "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." This is an essential verse in our Family way of life, as it governs the use and ownership of our material possessions. The goal of these verses and of their companion verses, Acts 4:34-35, is that everyone has what he or she needs, and that those who have more than they need should lovingly share it with those who lack.
As disciples and Charter Members, we share our material belongings with one another so that we will all have the things that we need and that no one will be in want. In some cases the word "share" would mean to "give"; in other cases it would mean to "make available for others to use."
The area of material possessions can be a real test of our love, unselfishness and faithfulness. Do we have enough love to supply the needs of others by the giving of those things we have to fill their need? Are we unselfish enough to give even though it hurts, or conversely to refuse to receive an item because we know the giver needs it more than ourselves? Are we faithful stewards of the things we use?
Whatever material possessions you or the Home have, they ultimately belong to the Lord and it is your responsibility to take good care of them, to be a faithful steward of them. When you have need of something and someone shares it with you, whether by allowing you to use it, or by giving it to you, it is your responsibility to take good care of it.
At times, questions will arise concerning to whom some item actually belongs. This will most often occur when someone is moving from a Home and wishes to take an item with them. In such cases the Home should decide the matter by a simple majority vote, unless the items were previously agreed upon when the member joined the Home (see the Right of Mobility, D. 7.). Generally, with major items, the Home should consider what is best for the overall work.
We are expected to be good stewards over not only the Family's materials but also those things that are entrusted to our care by outsiders, such as rented housing, properties and other materials belonging to non-Family members.
We are doing what the Lord wanted the Church to do in the first place, and which the Church did in the first place, in the days of the Early Church where they lived communally and "no man called anything his own" (Acts 4:32) and "owed no man anything save to love him" (Romans 13:8) and shared all things, just as it says in Acts 2.--They really lived communally and it worked, like it's working with us, because of the Lord and our love and sacrificial service and wanting to help others and help each other (ML #2342:25).
Let's be more faithful stewards and diligent caretakers of the materials, resources, properties, provisions, vehicles, etc., which the Lord gives or loans to us for His use!... Let's take much better care of what God has already given us so He will be able to trust us with more, so we can do a better and bigger job in the future! (ML #197:23).
K. Endeavor to fulfill the Scriptural injunction to "bear one another's burdens"--to put the needs of the Home and its members before their own.
God's Word instructs us, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). This is another Law of Love clause. As Jesus laid down His life for us, so we should lay down our lives daily for the brethren. As disciples, we should manifest our love one for another by doing all we can to make sure that we are aware of the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of those around us, and we should do whatever we can to help care for them in their need. Since so much within the Home will be decided by the Home's voting members, it will become even more important that we all are mindful of the burdens, hardships, battles and needs of others in the Home. And that we are willing to put their needs and the good of the Home before our own wants and desires.
When prayerfully deciding how to vote on a matter within the Home, you will need to take into consideration everyone in the Home. You should ask yourself how the new idea is going to affect others--the children, the parents, the single moms and dads.
I always try to put myself in the other fellow's shoes, and not expect any more of him than I would expect of myself, and not ask any more of him than I would want him to ask of me, were our positions reversed! (ML #52:47.)
L. Bear, with all other voting members of the Home, the spiritual, physical, material, educational and financial responsibilities of the Home in which they reside.
Voting members have a great deal of authority in their Home through their right to vote. Throughout the Charter you'll find that there are many issues which the Home is required to democratically vote on in order to decide their course of action. Because each voting member has the right to participate in deciding these matters, they are responsible for the results of their vote. So when a Home is doing poorly, either spiritually, physically or economically, the blame will fall on the voting members of the Home, instead of solely on the Home teamwork, because the policies of the Home are determined by the voting members and not only the Home teamwork.
Our 16- and 17-year-olds are voting members of the Home and thus they too are equally responsible for the decisions of the Home and the outcome of those decisions. Only in the area of financial decisions is there a difference in the voting rights. Those 16 and 17 will not have a vote on the financial matters of the Home, but neither will they be held responsible for the Home's debts and liabilities. (For more on this see Rights of the Individual: Within the Home, B. and 1. a).)
Even though our members under the age of 16 and new disciples are not voting members, you are encouraged to seek their opinions and participation in Home matters that concern them.
Whenever practical, our junior teens should be permitted to attend Home council meetings covering matters pertaining to them. However, new disciples should not be invited to Home council meetings until they have been in the Family for six months.
Once a united decision has been made ... in prayer and open discussion, etc., then a majority united decision is made, ... then they certainly should stick to it without complaint (ML #962:79).
M. Participate in the governing of the Home, in which they reside; accept responsibility for the collective decisions and actions of that Home, and for the results of those decisions and actions.
It is very important for everyone to fully understand that the Home in which they live belongs to all who live in it, and all voting members are expected to participate in its decision-making process. Your Home teamwork is only a fraction of the membership of your Home, and as such, your Home does not belong to them; nor does your Home belong to the area or continental office; it's yours. As such, it is up to you to help govern your Home and make the decisions that affect it.
As Dad once admonished the Family's leadership, "I don't see how we can have a bossy, dictatorial, tough kind of attitude over other Homes and their affairs, when you're supposed to be independent and indigenous, a fellowship of the Spirit, merely melted together in love and not just frozen together in formality!
"We must get the idea through our thick skulls that each Home is [to be] totally supporting and governing itself locally and owes us nothing except the loyalty of love and the same Spirit, and are bound together only by these and a common doctrine, vision, message and method, history and the Lord's leadership.
"Not one of them has to do what we say. They're like grown, married children on their own, who should listen to fatherly counsel and perhaps heed it if they are wise--but we can't force them to!
"However, if we have trained them up in the way they should go, now that they are old, they will not depart therefrom! Neither would they want to depart from the fellowship of the Family, nor disgrace its name! Nor will their Father's advice and counsel go unheeded! Neither will they want to cease communicating with the rest of the Family!--And they will help one another when needed!--And they will value the aids we send them, the lessons, Letters, literature, etc., and follow their instructions or advice because they know we love them and are only trying to help them. But we cannot force them to! They will cooperate because it's to their advantage and they know that in unity there is greater strength and wisdom, and they enjoy the fellowship and mutual help. Voluntary, not forced!" (ML #156C:8,9,10,11; DB5.)
Because you personally have the ability to participate, through voting, in virtually all decisions governing all aspects of your Home, you--collectively with all other voting members of the Home--bear responsibility for the outcome of those decisions. If the Home collectively agrees to pursue some course of action and it later goes awry, then it is the Home's fault, and each voting member of the Home is to blame. If things go so bad that the Home has to be disciplined, all of the Home members will be disciplined, not just the teamwork. If the Home is mismanaged or becomes spiritually dead, then every person age 16 and over is responsible, because they had a say in the decisions and resultant problems.
You have the right to participate in the governing of your Home, but you also bear the responsibility for those decisions. It's because of the responsibility that you should feel obligated to participate in the decision-making process in the Home. Each of you needs to be involved, to pray about the matters being brought up and cast your vote, and not just let others make the decisions, because you are going to be held responsible. If you just rock along and don't pay attention to or pray about the matter being voted on, you may find your Home reaping the results of unprayerful or unwise decisions.
It's God's business, thank the Lord, but it is business ! There's a lot to be dealt with in such an operation.--I don't have the wisdom, you don't have the wisdom, none of us alone has the wisdom to take care of all that. Decisions must be made in counsel, first of all with the Lord, and then together and in agreement on all major decisions (ML #301A:5).
N. Live in accordance with the agreed-upon "Home regulations" of the Home in which they continue to reside.
Since you will have an equal vote with all other members of your Home, and you will be participating in the governing of the Home through your vote, you are expected to abide by all joint decisions made by the voting members of the Home. Once your Home has voted on a matter, then you must comply with the decision made, even if you voted against it, because the majority of the voting members agreed to it.
If you strongly disagree with the other voting members of your Home on a matter, you are free to move out of the Home in accordance with the terms of the Right of Mobility. Remember, though, that any Home you live in will probably not always vote on matters to your satisfaction, so you shouldn't decide to move out of your Home every time something doesn't go your way. Moving to another Home may be a fairly easy matter, as you will see in the Right of Mobility section of the Charter; but as long as you are in a particular Home, you must live in accordance with the decisions made in that Home.
Freedom costs something. With freedom you take on the responsibility of making your own decisions and taking the consequences (ML #985:6).
If you have given your point of view and a decision is made which is contrary to the way you think things ought to be done, then the best thing is to be quiet! If you think they're wrong, then you can pray that they'll realize it and they'll change or they'll change their mind or something will happen that will change things (ML #1935:10).
O. Commit their resources, time, energy, knowledge, gifts and talents towards reaching the agreed-upon goals of the Home in which they reside and the goals of the Family at large.
The voting members determine their Home's basic nature, goals and direction by a two-thirds majority. If, for example, you collectively decide that your Home is going to major on a "Consider the Poor" ministry, such as ministering to juvenile delinquents, then all of you are expected to contribute your all--your gifts, talents, energy, etc.--to achieve that goal, within your capabilities and health. If you don't agree with the goals of the Home, and therefore don't want to participate in reaching that goal, you will be expected to move elsewhere.
God always seems to bless harmony, people living at peace with each other and loving each other and helping each other and showing a large measure of love (ML #530:43).
P. Grant the use of their intellectual property, such as songs, written works, etc., to the Family, or a company endorsed by World Services.
In order to be able to distribute our tapes and videos through commercial means, such as mass marketing, TV broadcasting, sales in retail stores, the companies that own the rights to the finished products must also own the copyrights to or have licenses to use all of the songs on the tape or video.
WS is endeavoring to make it possible for Family Homes to commercially market our Family tools on a larger scale in order to get out more message and benefit from them financially. However, before this is possible, the companies set up for this purpose must have written agreements with the authors/composers of the songs for the material to be used for commercial purposes. To ensure that each of our new tools is legally suitable for commercial distribution, we're now requiring that before a song is recorded in a Family studio, the paperwork be in order granting a Family or a WS endorsed company the right to use the song commercially. The individual author or composer would keep the copyright itself, but just give the WS-endorsed company the right to freely use the song in Family productions.
The same applies to written works that are produced for GP distribution. For example, those who send in spirit stories or other written works which are slotted for a GP pub will be sent a contract to fill in granting a company named by World Services the rights to use that written work in a commercial product.
Thank you for your cooperation in granting these companies the use of your songs or written works, which then make it possible for you and the whole Family to benefit from them via the finished product!
Q. Perform, to the best of their ability, the duties and responsibilities assigned to them by the Home's duly elected officers.
The voting members of a Home elect the Home teamwork with the understanding that the teamwork is commissioned to manage and spiritually shepherd the Home within the authorized boundaries of this Charter. This includes carrying out matters that the majority of the Home agrees to. Home members are therefore expected to perform the duties that are assigned to them by the Home officers they have elected.
Do you have a job?... Are you treating it like God's job, and doing it as faithfully as the Lord would expect you to do it? (ML #2522:60.)
Let's carry the burden of our responsibilities bravely, courageously, cheerfully and thankfully, and not be heard to grumble, groan and gripe! (ML #197:25.)
R. Cooperate with and support the joint decisions of the Home's voting members, or if in disagreement, or unable to cooperate for any other reason, voluntarily remove themselves from the Home by moving to another Home or pioneering their own Home.
The voting members of the Home determine the way the Home operates, what the Home's ministries will be, etc., and the members of the Home are expected to comply with those decisions and to support them.
For example, if the majority of the Home votes to send out witnessing teams five times a week, and you had only wanted teams to go out three times, you should still support the decision voted on by the Home and cooperate in trying to get witnessing teams out five times per week.
If for some reason you can't agree to the decision and you consider it to be a major enough matter that you don't feel that you can cooperate with it or support it, then you should voluntarily decide to move to another Home or pioneer your own Home. Of course there will be numerous times when the Home does not vote the way you do, but in most cases those will be on minor issues, and we expect that you probably won't feel that you need to leave the Home.
You will note the clause, "or unable to cooperate for any other reason." There may be other reasons you are not able to cooperate with or support a decision. For example, if you were confined to a wheelchair and your Home decided to become a road team Home, in which case you felt it wouldn't be practical for you to remain a part of that Home. Rather than ask the Home not to follow their vision however, you feel the wise and loving thing to do would be to find a more suitable Home, in accordance with the Right of Mobility.
As long as you remain in a Colony, you are still under the authority of its leaders to keep the Colony rules, unless you want to leave! (ML #173:6.)
S. Endeavor to conduct themselves as good Christians, showing outgoing love and concern for others and fulfilling their obligations, legal and otherwise to them.
An important part of showing love and concern for others, whether in the Family or not, is to fulfill your obligations, legally, morally or otherwise, to them. For example, if someone lends you his or her vehicle, your duty as a good Christian is to return the vehicle in the condition in which it was lent to you. Or if you borrow an expensive piece of equipment from someone and break it, the loving thing to do would be to get it fixed or replace it before returning it to them. Another example of fulfilling your obligations to others would be if you were to sell your car to another Family member. Your obligation to them would be to ensure that they receive the title to the car, and that all other necessary paperwork is in order. Being faithful in business dealings with others--whether Family members or not--is an important part of your sample as a good Christian.
T. Refrain from activities or behavior that would be a reproach to the cause of Christ and/or reflect negatively on the Family.
Each of us should be a good example of a Christian and of a Family member, for our sample speaks much louder than our sermon. As much as possible, our actions should lift up Jesus, and none of them should defame or blemish either the Lord or the Family.
In different areas of the world, this could mean refraining from different things. Wherever we live, we must take into account the traditions and culture of the community or country and try not to do things that would offend individuals of that culture. This is part of trying to comply with the Biblical counsel to "become all things to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22).
There is, of course, a great deal of counsel in the Letters regarding our sample and actions, which applies no matter where we live.
Help us, Lord, to be a good sample of You and Your Love. Help us, Lord, to understand them enough, and their religion and their customs and their ways, so that we shall be aware of the differences which might cause friction or difficulty in things we do or say, so we will not offend them in any way (ML #631:146).
U. Endeavor to overcome, and when necessary request united prayer against, those personal weaknesses and besetting sins that cause physical or spiritual disruption in the Home, and/or physical, spiritual or emotional harm to themselves or others.
Charter Members are expected to work on their personal weaknesses and NWOs, as if these get out of hand, they could eventually result in an individual causing problems for themselves and/or the Home, which, if long-lasting or serious enough, could eventually warrant moving them to Fellow Member status.
However, if one's personal weaknesses are such that they do not cause spiritual or physical disruption of the Home, nor spiritual, physical or emotional harm to themselves or others, it is not mandatory that they overcome them to retain their Charter membership; though they are expected to try to overcome them, and they may receive some counsel on the matter from their Home teamwork.
For example, if you have a problem with pride, and it's your besetting sin, but you are aware of it and are continually trying to keep it in check, and it's not causing major problems in the Home or even to yourself, then you aren't in danger of losing your Charter Member status. If, however, because of your pride, you are causing problems in the Home, the teamwork may talk with you about it and offer some advice to help you overcome it. If you refuse their advice, or you don't seriously attempt to overcome it, you could end up eventually losing your place in the Charter Family.
We occasionally have serious spiritual problems that become of sufficient magnitude to seriously hinder our relationship with the Lord or with others.--In which case, we need to actually be delivered from them, and thank the Lord, we can be delivered!... We can--and should--make progress and show some improvement even in the weak areas of our lives as we walk with the Lord and continue to grow spiritually. In fact, if we don't try to make progress and grow and continually strive to overcome such weaknesses, but we just resign ourselves to them and sort of give up in our struggle against them, we may find that they move from the category of being mere human frailties to the category of being serious spiritual problems! (ML #2553:35,36.)
V. Recognize that their body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and as such, do not abuse it in any way. Keep a clean and presentable appearance, and actively and regularly endeavor to stay healthy and physically fit.
The Bible says, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 3:16-17).
As Dad has clearly explained in numerous Letters, the Lord made man to need physical activity and fresh air in order to remain healthy. Maybe what the Lord meant when He said that he that defiles the temple of God, our body, "him shall God destroy," is that they will be destroyed with illness as a result of their negligence.
As witnessing Christians, our appearance is part of our testimony, so we must endeavor (which means to make an earnest attempt) to stay healthy and physically fit. The Get-Out Rules are clearly explained in the "Fundamental Family Rules". We must also keep a clean and presentable appearance, which is compatible with the country and culture in which we live.
You need to maintain healthy habits: A good diet eating the right kind of foods, be sure you get plenty of rest, and then, of course, get lots of good exercise, which most of you probably get because you've got lots of work to do. Always try to get out some each day in the fresh air and sunshine. And then, live right. In other words, keep at peace with the Lord and obey His natural and spiritual laws (ML #353:2).
Straighten up! Trim up, dress up, and behave like the good Christian missionaries you're supposed to be (ML #1202:63).
W. Have a working knowledge of the "Charter of Responsibilities and Rights" and the "Fundamental Family Rules."
As the Charter and the "Fundamental Family Rules" define our responsibilities, our rights, and the rules that we must follow to be Charter Members, obviously each of us should have a basic working knowledge of these documents. This doesn't mean that you need to become an expert on the intricacies of the Charter, but neither will you be able to claim ignorance of the law if you fail to obey it. We have endeavored to compile and clearly explain in this book all of your responsibilities and rights, as well as the rules, and having done so, it is now your responsibility to familiarize yourself with them.
They have to become their own judges now. "What do you think about this? You know the facts, you know the truth, you know the law, you know the rules" (ML #1399:9).
This ends the section outlining the "Responsibilities of Individual Members." Those who fulfill these responsibilities consequently have certain rights as Charter Members.
Actually, when reading your rights, it would be wise to remind yourself that you have these rights only if you are fulfilling your responsibilities. It's a two-way street; you must act as a Charter Member in order to have the rights of a Charter Member.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family