The Gnostic Order of Christ Ethics Code
Those ordained and who have received certification through The Gnostic Order of Christ are Independent Priests and Teachers and are bound by the vows of their Religious Orders, their commitment to Jesus Christ, this Ethics Code, the Ten Commandments, and the laws of the land in which they live.
Services, Rituals, and modes of teaching of those ordained may vary between one and another ordained, dependent upon the spiritual background of the one ordained.
The Gnostic Order of Christ maintains a complete record of all ordained who are in good standing with us and you may contact us for verification at 408.978.8034 for a referral.
All ministries and communities are independent of The Gnostic Order of Christ; as well, The Gnostic Order of Christ is an independent entity beholden to no other organization and is not affiliated nor in association with any other order.
[From the Minutes of The Gnostic Order of Christ 1/15/89]
Re: Priests and Teachers are Independent
SS 3.361 Resolution
The question of the authority of those persons who may be ordained as Priests, Bishops , and Masters pursuant to the powers of this church [The Gnostic Order of Christ] was discussed by the Board.
On motion duly made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the following resolution was adopted:
That those persons would be allowed to establish their own churches or religious orders, but not under the umbrella of the Gnostic Order of Christ. The rites of ordination are rights to function spiritually as Independent Priests, Bishops and Masters. The purpose of ordination is to establish Apostolic Succession so...[that those ordained]... may perform their Spiritual and Religious Functions legitimately.
The Board of Directors of The Gnostic Order of Christ may be contacted by email or by phone:
Subject: The Board of Directors
Separation of Church and State:
The Rite to Ordain in the Lineage of The Priesthood After the Order of Melchizedek of The Order of The Holy Cross stands independently of any earthly church or order. The Rite to Ordain is spiritual in nature; such a Spiritual Rite is not in any way connected to membership past or present in any particular corporate body as defined by any corporation or academic definition.
The Rite to Ordain establishes the Spiritual Authority to Ordain a Priest or Teacher with the Apostolic Authority of the Host above in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and may not be defined as endowed by any earthly corporeal or corporate body.
Revelation and such Spiritual Ordination remains in the domain of and as a prerogative of The Holy Spirit.
Last Updated 05/23/2023
The Gnostic Order of Christ Ethics Code
This Ethics Code was established for those receiving Certificates of Ordination as of October 20, 2005; however, it is our expectation that this code will be followed by anyone ordained in our lineage. If you find some one out of accord with our Code please contact the Board as noted above.
Code I PROLOGUE: General
The Gnostic Order of Christ, is committed to the Western Tradition and also recognizes all spiritual paths as a means to reach God. Members and Associates uphold the values of our local civic and spiritual communities and the dignity and worth of each individual. We are dedicated to advancing the welfare of those who seek spiritual study and community and to the maintenance of high standards of professional and spiritual conduct and competence.
We are accountable for our ministry, whatever its setting. This accountability is expressed in relationships to colleagues, students, clients and in relationships with the members of our spiritual communities and our families through the acceptance and practice of the spiritual principles and procedures of this Ethics Code. In the Spirit of conscientious service, we ask you as members and associates to commit to the following as a condition of receiving certification and having participation with the Gnostic Order of Christ:
In order to uphold ethical standards, as individuals committed to ministry those standing for ordination through the Gnostic Order of Christ covenant to accept the following foundational premises and code of conduct in their lives:
1. I will maintain integral and responsible association with The Gnostic Order of Christ.
2. I will not discriminate against or refuse educational opportunity or professional and/or spiritual assistance to anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin.
3. I will maintain my contact with God through educational and religious activities combined with regular spiritual practice. I will agree at all levels of membership and/or association to continue in my spiritual practice and professional and spiritual growth, including supervision, consultation, and active participation with the members of the order(s) through which I was ordained as often as possible.
4. I will seek out and engage in collegial relationships, recognizing that isolation can lead to a loss of perspective and judgment.
5. I will manage my personal life in a healthful fashion and seek appropriate assistance if I have personal problems or conflicts.
6. I will teach and/or provide counseling only for those problems or issues that are within the reasonable boundaries of my competence.
7. I will establish and maintain appropriate professional and/or spiritual relationship boundaries with those I serve.
Code II - PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
1. In all professional and/or spiritual matters, I will maintain practices that protect the public and advance spiritual integrity.
2. I will use my knowledge and professional and spiritual associations for the benefit of the people I serve and not to secure unfair personal advantage.
3. I will clearly represent my level of professional and spiritual development and limit my activities to that level of competence.
4. Fees and financial arrangements, as with all contractual matters, will always be discussed without hesitation or equivocation at the onset and will be established in a straight-forward manner.
5. I will be prepared to render service to individuals and communities in crisis without regard to financial remuneration when necessary.
6. I will neither receive nor pay a commission for referral.
7. I will conduct my ministerial, organizational, community and fiscal affairs with due regard to recognized business and accounting procedures.
8. Upon the transfer of a practice or the sale of real, personal, tangible or intangible property or assets used in such practice, the privacy of those I serve shall be of primary concern.
9. Names and records shall be excluded from any transfer or sale.
10. I will not malign associates; neither will I associate or recommend those who do not abide by these principles.
Code III - STUDENT, CLIENT, MENTOR, COLLEGIAL, RELATIONSHIPS
It is the responsibility of those certified by The Gnostic Order of Christ to maintain relationships with students, clients, mentors and colleagues on a professional and spiritual basis.
1. I will not abandon or neglect those in my care. If I am unable or unwilling for appropriate reasons to provide training or continue a teaching relationship, every reasonable effort will be made to arrange for continuation of care with another professional and/or spiritual mentor.
2. I will make only realistic statements regarding counseling, spiritual processes, and outcomes.
3. I will show sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of those in our and my communities. I will avoid imposing my beliefs on others, although I will, may, express them when appropriate.
4. Teaching and/or counseling relationships will be continued only so long as it is reasonably clear that the individuals are receiving benefit from the relationship.
Code IV - CONFIDENTIALITY AND THE LAW
1. I will respect the integrity and protect the welfare of all persons that I serve and will safeguard information about them that has been obtained in the course of the teaching, professional and/or spiritual counseling relationship.
2. All records kept concerning an individual will be stored or disposed of in a manner that assures security and confidentiality.
3. I will treat all communications with professional and spiritual confidence.
4. Except in those situations where the identity of the individual is necessary to the understanding of the case, I will not use the name of the individual when engaged in supervision or consultation. It is my responsibility to convey the importance of confidentiality to the supervisor/consultant; this is particularly important when the supervision is shared by other professional and/or spiritual counselors, as in a supervisory group.
5. I will not disclose individual confidences to anyone, except: as mandated by law; in order to prevent a clear and immediate danger to someone; in the course of a civil, criminal or disciplinary action arising from the training where the teaching and/or counselor is a defendant; for purposes of supervision or consultation; or by previously obtained written permission. In cases involving more than one person, I will obtain written permission from all legally accountable persons who have been present during the event before any disclosure is made.
6. I will obtain informed written consent from individuals before audio and/or video tape recording or permitting third party observation of their training or counseling sessions.
7. I will not use these standards of confidentiality to avoid intervention when it is necessary, e.g., when there is evidence of abuse of minors, the elderly, the disabled, or the physically disabled or mentally incompetent.
8. When current or former individuals are referred to in a publication, as in teaching or in a public presentation, their identity will be thoroughly disguised.
9. I agree that as an express condition of my certification, communications, files, investigative reports, and related records will be kept strictly confidential and I waive the right to use the same in a court of law to advance any claim against another member. This policy is intended to promote teaching, counseling and confessional communications without legal consequences, and to protect potential privacy and confidentiality interests of third parties.
Code V - INTER-PROFESSIONAL /INTER-SPIRITUAL NETWORK RELATIONSHIPS
1. I will cooperate with other professional and spiritual persons in our community and beyond. I recognize I will be part of a network of human service providers and spiritual counselors, and I will develop and maintain interdisciplinary and inter-professional and/or inter-spiritual counselor relationships.
2. I will not offer ongoing services to persons currently receiving training from another teacher without prior knowledge of and in consultation with the other teacher, nor without the individual's informed consent. Soliciting such individuals is unethical.
3. I will exercise care and inter-professional and/or inter-spiritual courtesy when approached for services by individuals who claim or appear to have inappropriately terminated training or counseling with another professional and/or spiritual counselor or when such an individual is considering termination in another spiritual group.
4. When visiting or communicating with others, I will use discretion. I will have found that there are as many points of view as there are people. I will be tolerant and supportive of all points of view.
5. I will treat others with the same courtesy and respect, that I would expect from someone else.
Code VI - PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TEACHER-STUDENT
1. I will not initiate contact for a sexual relationship with anyone who I have taught, instructed, or counseled, or who has attended classes or been at a retreat without consultation with a priest or teacher PRIOR to such an event.
2. I recognize that such relationships are unequal power relationships and that such relationships may be against the law if not addressed ethically. I recognize that sexual advances or activity of any kind confuse a participant's personal growth and can be abusive to the individual and anyone else witnessing.
3. It is necessary that I be clear about my motivations. Anywhere I teach or learn must be a safe place for all who attend.
4. If the situation arises that I desire to form a relationship with another who has been my teacher whom I have met in the context of the spiritual community of which I am a part, I will counsel with a mentor teacher that I trust. In this way I and my partner can discuss any consequences or ramifications openly and clearly, so that the relationship will grow in an equal environment and others do not become confused about our integrity or the integrity of my ordination.
*If I should find any that any individual I have trained or counseled for the priesthood is out of integrity with these rules I will contact another teacher to discuss the matter.
5. I recognize the trust placed in me as unique in the role of teaching and/or spiritual counseling. While acknowledging the complexity of such relationships, I will avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of the individual. I will avoid those dual relationships with individuals (e.g., business or close personal relationships) which could impair our professional and/or spiritual judgment, compromise the integrity of the training, and those things that would use the relationship for our own gain.
Code VII - SEXUAL HARASSMENT
1. I will not engage in sexual abuse, sexual behavior or harassment, abusive words or actions, or expletive coercion (defined below).
Definitions of sexual abuse and harassment:
Sexual harassment has to do with making unwanted sexual comments or advances towards another. Harassment is defined as but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures or physical contacts of a sexual nature.
Sexual abuse has to do with acting on those advances without the mutual consent of the other, or manipulating one into a position of sexual compliance using one's position of power and authority.
Both of the above acts are punishable by law.
Sexual behavior is defined as, but not limited to, all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gestures, and behavior as I well as physical contact of a sexual nature.
Specific examples of sexual abuse:
1. physically touching someone inappropriately without their permission, with the intent of sexual gratification.
2. forcing another to engage in sexual contact.
3. stalking someone with whom you've had sexual contact in the past and said person is not interested or stalking someone who is not interested in pursuing a relationship.
4. sexual exploitation or sexual contact with children.
5. asking one to engage in sexual activity with the promise of promotion to that person.
6. making sexual comments, remarks, and/or jokes, with the intent to engage in sexual contact with that person.
7. continuing to ask for sex or making sexual remarks to a person who has said no or asked you to stop.
Sexual harassment and/or sexual abuse may result in legal measures. The above acts and behaviors may involve officers of the law and procedures may be implemented enlisting the courts according to the laws of the land.
GUIDELINES SURROUNDING APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL CONTACT
Some people have ingrained cultural prohibitions against hugging and kissing. Buddhist cultures, for example, do not engage in physical contact; in Buddhism physical contact may be deemed to be a violation of one's personal space and boundaries. If you mix a large group of people together there will be people who do not want to be hugged or kissed. You will need to consider the whole, rather than a few. People who touch in some way in greeting, need to be respectful of those who do not.
There are always those people who for some reason feel uncomfortable with that kind of physical closeness. Some of those people may have been abused in the past in some way and/or have somewhat of a reserved personality type and/or may simply have a cultural bias against such behavior.
Do not touch anyone without their permission first. If you like to hug people ask their permission beforehand. This will allow a person who does not prefer hugging to decline the invitation. Physical contact should be kept to a minimum, as not to be misjudged as sexual.
When engaging in spiritual retreat it is expected that there be no sexual activity, even amongst committed partners. Retreats and spiritual rituals and classes are initiated to allow special time devoted to God and are often a catalyst for permanent spiritual change. We ask that you remain focused completely upon God during this time, as sexual activities distract from the main focus for yourself and others.
We ask that expressions of sexuality remain private and not be displayed at all at: a. retreats b. seminars c. meetings, and classes
Code VIII - SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP ISSUES
Marriage, Divorce, Adultery, Primary Significant Others, and Promiscuity
As a spiritual guide I recognize I need to set an example of how relationships are formed and ended with Spiritual Integrity.
1. I will set an example for how such relationships may be made new and/or dissolved. I support the relationships of those who form primary significant relationships without secular legal marriage or legal divorce from a former mate: however, integrity demands that any former relationships be severed spiritually and following relationships be declared so as to avoid unnecessary confusion or accusation for and by other community members.
2. I will not support promiscuous behavior.
3. I will not support adulterous behavior.
4. I may have my certification revoked for promiscuous or adulterous behavior.
Code IX - SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY AND DRUGS & ALCOHOL
1. I will not use drugs unless they are prescribed by a physician.
2. I will not advocate the use of drugs or alcohol.
3. I will assist anyone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol in finding appropriate help.
4. I will notify the Board of Directors of the Gnostic Order of Christ of anyone abusing drugs or alcohol who I know of that has been certified by the GOC.
The Gnostic Order of Christ's policy on the possession and use of alcohol and illegal drugs is as stated below:
1)Illegal or improper use of alcohol will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of certification. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illegal drugs by any person is prohibited. Such action shall result in disciplinary action, including termination of certification.
2)All individuals and those ordained are expected to recognize the potential for alcohol and drug abuse whenever illegal drugs or alcohol are sold, given, manufactured, and/or used and that such abuse is in conflict with all of our vows.
3)You are required to inform a board member of any convictions for drug violations in within five days after the conviction. The Board of Directors will impose appropriate sanctions. Sanctions may range from termination of certification to suspension and satisfactory participation in a drug abuse rehabilitation program. Reinstatement of certification is at the determination of the Board of Directors.
Code X- SEMINARS USING THE NAME OF THE GNOSTIC ORDER OF CHRIST
1. If at any time I plan to use the name of The Gnostic Order of Christ I will receive advanced written permission to do so.
2. When preparing for Seminars and Classes for The Gnostic Order of Christ and/or my own ministry: I will keep the inner teachings in the foremost of my mind and heart and will tailor material and behavior according to the audience, remembering my vows of service, obedience, humility, poverty, and purity, and our vow of confidentiality.
3. I will not disclose that which should be maintained as teachings for the priesthood to the general public.
4. I will act in accordance with behavior appropriate to my office and my missions and will advocate and promote like professional and/or spiritual behavior from associates.
5. I will not charge exorbitant fees other than costs and will allow those who cannot pay to attend free of charge if possible.
6. I will present my own materials for a price standard within the industry for like materials.
7. When in attendance at seminars I will be respectful and courteous and assist the seminar leaders if asked and if possible.
Code XI - ADVERTISING AND The Gnostic Order of Christ
1. Any advertising regarding The Gnostic Order of Christ, including announcements, public statements and promotional activities, will be undertaken with the purpose of helping the public make informed judgments and choices.
2. I will not misrepresent professional and/or spiritual qualifications, affiliations, and functions, or falsely imply sponsorship or certification by any organization.
3. I may if I choose use the following information to describe myself and the services provided: name, date, type and level of certification, The Gnostic Order of Christ membership level, clearly stated as member or ordained by, address and telephone number, office hours, a brief review of services offered, e.g., spiritual training and education, fee information; and languages spoken. Additional relevant information may be provided if it is legitimate, reasonable, free of deception, and not otherwise prohibited by these Codes.
4. I will not use the initials "GOC" after my name in the manner of an academic degree.
5. Announcements and brochures promoting services will describe them with accuracy and dignity, devoid of all claims or evaluation. I may send them to professional and/or spiritually qualified persons, religious institutions and other agencies, but to prospective individuals only in response to inquiries.
6. I will not make public statements which contain any of the following:
a. A false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or unfair statement.
b. A misrepresentation of fact or a statement likely to mislead or deceive, because in context it makes only a partial disclosure of relevant facts.
c. A statement intended or likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results.
d. A statement implying unusual, unique, or one-of-a-kind abilities, including misrepresentation through sensationalism, exaggeration, or superficiality.
e.A statement intended or likely to exploit an individual's fears, anxieties, or emotions.
f. A statement concerning the comparative desirability of offered services.
g. A statement of direct solicitation of individuals.
7. I will not compensate in any way a representative of the press, radio, television or other communication medium for the purpose of professional and/or spiritual publicity and news items.
8. A paid advertisement must be identified as such, unless it is contextually apparent that it is a paid advertisement. I will be responsible for the content of such advertisement.
9. Any advertisement to the public by radio or television concerning The Gnostic Order of Christ is to be pre-recorded, approved by The Gnostic Order of Christ, and a recording of the actual transmission retained in the possession of The Gnostic Order of Christ.
10. Advertisements or announcements of workshops, seminars, growth groups, or similar services, or endeavors, are to give a clear statement of purpose and a clear description of the experiences to be provided. The education, training and experience of the provider(s) involved are to be appropriately specified.
11. Advertisements or announcements soliciting research participants, in which spiritual or other professional services are offered as an inducement, must make clear the nature of the services as well as the cost and other obligations or risks to be accepted by participants in the research.
(a) I will NOT present any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights or rights of publicity or privacy ("Rights") of any third party.
(b) I will NOT impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent my affiliation with a person or entity (this statement includes misrepresentation of titles and misrepresentation of defunct spiritual relationships).
(c) I will NOT present any content that I do not have a right to transmit under any law or contract (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of membership confidentiality agreements).
(d) I will NOT reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit for any commercial purpose, content obtained from The Gnostic Order of Christ or others ordained through this body without obtaining the express, prior written consent of The Gnostic Order of Christ and/or consent from the owner of such content. This restriction includes any attempt to incorporate any information or written materials from The Gnostic Order of Christ into any other directory, product, or service, eGroup, or other written, audio, or media materials, etc.
(e) I will NOT violate any applicable local, state, national or international law, or any regulations having the force of law.
(f) I will NOT promote or provide information about illegal activities, for example, providing instructions on how to assemble bombs, grenades and other weapons.
(g) I will NOT publish, post, distribute or otherwise transmit any material knowing, or that I reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed via The Gnostic Order of Christ.
(h) I may mention that I have been ordained through The Gnostic Order of Christ "if" I have been certified; however, I may not represent my ministry as a part of The Gnostic Order of Christ unless I am a Board Member having a ministry in that capacity within The Gnostic Order of Christ and/or having special permission to do so.
(i) I may NOT use the name of The Gnostic Order of Christ for the purposes of credit, nor in making any business arrangements, unless I have express permission from the Board of Directors.
12. Those ordained through The Gnostic Order of Christ are independent priests and teachers. I know I am bound by the vows of my ordination, my commitment to Jesus Christ, the Ethics Code, the Ten Commandments, and the laws of the land in which I live.
The Gnostic Order of Christ bears no responsibility for my activities. I have been informed of the following.
[From the Minutes of The Gnostic Order of Christ 1/15/89] Re: Priests and Teachers are Independently Ordained See Resolution SS 3.361 .... Above
Code XII - THE INTERNET AND The Gnostic Order of Christ
Use of Ours, Yours, and Others Web Sites and Technology
The world of the internet has enabled all of us to use technology in ways we didn't think possible even a short time ago. We ask that you use the technology appropriately. In particular, you agree:
(a) I will NOT "spam" anyone, or post any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, etc.
(b) I will NOT post any material that contains software viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines that are designed to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information.
(c) I will NOT disrupt the normal flow of dialogue or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other user's ability to engage in real time exchanges.
(d) I will NOT damage, interfere with or disrupt the services provided by The Gnostic Order of Christ or servers or networks connected to the service, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the service.
(e) I will NOT falsify the origin or source of writings, graphics, etc.; delete any author attributions, legal notices or other proprietary designations or labels in any content.
(f) I will NOT collect or store personal data about other users or members.
(g) I will NOT engage in commercial or spiritual activities that mention The Gnostic Order of Christ without permission from The Board of Directors of The Gnostic Order of Christ. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) I will NOT engage in soliciting for advertisers or sponsors or students, or clients.
(2) I will NOT engage in conducting raffles or contests that require any kind of entry fee.
(3) I will NOT display banners for services that provide cash or cash-equivalent prizes to users in exchange for hyperlinks to their web sites; or create mini-portals or charge Gnostic Order of Christ users within the site in any manner other than as explicitly allowed.
(4) Advertise pornography or having links to pornographic sites is strictly prohibited.
(5) The Gnostic Order of Christ retains the right to disapprove all web sites referring to The Gnostic Order of Christ as a membership organization having members. The Gnostic Order of Christ has no members. The Gnostic Order of Christ reserves the right to terminate the use of any site by anyone violating the Codes set forth in this code.
End of Ethics Code of The Gnostic Order of Christ [Last Updated 05/23/2023]