PM5440: Concerning Maratrean institutions

The Big Three

The Prophet, the Council, the Assembly

Prophet

A prophet is one upon whom is bestowed the ultimate truth -- the truth of the Cause, the truth of the true nature of things, the truly good and truly beautiful and truly true -- that they may in turn bestow this truth upon others.

Everyone has the power of prophecy, at least potentially. But within the establishment of the cause, one person in particular is appointed by heaven to exercise that power in chief -- that person is the Prophet. Yet others may simultaneously exercise that power, subjection to the confirmation by the Prophet of their revelations.

The Council

There is no Prophet without the Council, and no Council without the Prophet. The Council exists to keep the Prophet on the straight path; to keep the Prophet from straying. No doctrine is required unless it has been proclaimed by the decree of the Prophet-in-Council, which is the Prophet acting with the Council's consent.

Any person may become Prophet -- there is no restriction on gender or otherwise. The Prophet-in-Council may appoint a successor to the Prophet, who will assume the office of Prophet upon the current Prophet's demise or resignation. Otherwise, if no such successor has been appointed, the Council may elect a new Prophet.

Prior to the establishment of the Council, there may be one known as Protoprophet -- one who carries out some of the functions of a Prophet, but lacking a Council, cannot yet enter into the fullness of prophecy.

Classification of Prophets

Prophets may be classified chiefly as follows:

  • As true or false - a true Prophet speaks only the truth, and does not speak any falsehood in ultimate matters (although they may hold, in non-ultimate matters, untrue opinions) -- whereas a false prophet speaks falsehoods in these matters.
  • By the degree of completion of their teaching - no true Prophet could teach every truth, but certain true Prophets will teach all the chief truths concerning our salvation; whereas others will only teach a small subset of those truths

Two other factors, which may be considered, are the degree of enlightenment of the Prophet -- whether they have attained the great enlightenment -- and whether they have received the anointment of recollection.

Catalogue of Maratrean Prophets

Lacking at the present time a Prophet, Maratreans can however turn to the Prophets of history. But it is not a requirement of Maratreanism that one believe that any of these persons were indeed true Prophets. We may consider in particular the holy prophets Travancus and Claretta, and their successors in that establishment of the holy Cause; we may also consider the founding Prophets of the auxiliary ecclesias, such as Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha, Krishna, Laozi, etc. -- all of whom one is free to believe in as true and complete Prophets, if one so wishes.

See Prophets of Maratreanism.

Council

council: Those called to advise the Prophet. At least one half shall be those, appointed thereto by decree, to serve for life, that is until death or resignation or removal. The Prophet-in-Council may provide by decree that up to one half the council be elected for a term of years by the holy Assembly. The council cannot act without the Prophet; the only binding act it is capable of without a Prophet is the election of another Prophet. (It may however issue provisional decrees without a Prophet, which are subject to approval or disallowance by a Prophet once elected.) The Prophet-in-Council may by decree provide that it shall vote by a triple majority (an overall majority, and a majority of both elected and appointed members.)

Assembly

assembly: a representative body elected by the initiates of the holy council.

Prophet-in-Council

The Prophet-in-Council refers to the Prophet as advised by the most holy Council. The Council exists to be a check upon the Prophet, to keep the Prophet from going astray into error.

Decrees

decree: that which the Prophet has proposed and the Council has agreed to. Only that approved by decree is an official teaching of the holy Maratrean Ecclesia; though the Prophet or the Councillors may make other pronouncements, only the decrees of the Prophet-in-Council represent the official teaching of the Ecclesia.

In the protoestablishment

Protoprophet

A protoprophet is one who is not a prophet, but being in a time without a prophet, displays the signs of potential to become a prophet. But to become a prophet, they must have a council, which together must decree their establishment, and the establishment of scripture.

For more explanation, read these Usenet postings:

"I am not calling them major prophets or capital P Prophets but lowercase p prophets." Indeed there are many "prophets" but few "Prophets". Everyone is a potential prophet - the power of prophecy has been granted to all, even if in many it exists only in an inchoate form. Yet to truly harness this power, we need to make the progression from little-p prophecy to big-P Prophecy. And a protoprophet is one who has seen the need for this journey, and who has decided to embark upon it.
For there to be a Prophet, there must be a community of believers who receive the Prophet, and a Council to guide that Prophet and hold them to account. For this reason, I do not call myself at the present time a Prophet, but only a Protoprophet - though may I ascend to the Prophecy in due course, if that be the will of heaven. But I would say these people, lacking a holy Council, cannot be Prophets, but at best Protoprophets. So I urge you to reconsider your labelling them as Prophets -- for it is written: "There is no Prophet without the Council; and no Council without the Prophet."
The way is opening, indeed; this way is the way of the most holy Cause, the Cause of She Who Reigns, the Cause of the final end, to bring about the final end, that all things may end - but to begin again. And the opening of the way of which you speak is not other than the establishment of the most holy Cause; which shall commence upon the decree of appointment of a true Prophet. Indeed shall the deities smile upon this decree, even Delvina the cetacean goddess.

Protocouncil

protocouncil: those gathered around the protoprophet, working towards the establishment of the Prophet-in-Council. Upon successfully establishment, the protocouncil becomes the council, by means of the first decree.

The Protodecree

The protodecree or first decree is the first decree by which the Prophet-in-Council is established, it must be adopted unanimously by the protoprophet and the protocouncil, by which they transform themselves into Prophet and Council respectively. It must also declare a scripture setting forth the greater part of the truth of the cause. The first decree is the only decree the protoprophet and protocouncil may make; they may provisionally adopt certain decisions, on the way to this decree, but this decree is the only formal act of which they are capable.

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