Should a religious organization be a democracy?

With work already beginning at the grassroots level for the elections this November, we each have the responsibility to step up and be informed on what is happening in the primaries. We need to understand the direction and abilities of the candidates and cast informed votes.

This is where we have the most opportunity, and again responsibility, to make the changes in our government that we feel need to be made. Of course, there will always be changes that need to be made as government is made by men and women and run by men and women. Mistakes will happen, personal greed and hunger for power will get in the way, and radical segments will seek to take away the freedoms of others.

After all, it is a democracy where everyone gets to cast their vote and express their opinion. Generally, then, it is the consensus of the masses which forms the direction of the country.

I am struck with my jaw dropping at times, though, that people think it is the same process that should happen in a religious organization.

I suppose that if we see our religious organization as one made by men and women and run by men and women, then it would be logical to think that church policies and direction should also be democratic.

Of course, I can’t imagine caring that much about my religion if I felt that it was just another group of opinions and passionate feelings. If the group had conflicting policies with my personal belief system, I would simply leave. No one is forcing me to attend or be a part of it. I can certainly hunt around for a church that seemed to fit my personality better. If one couldn’t be found, then I could always start my own.

After all, I apparently believe that religion is no more than a social gathering of people who have similar thoughts.

If this were the case, then why would I spend time and energy “protesting and making demands” of existing religious organizations? One who does obviously doesn’t agree with all that this particular church professes as doctrine.

Why would I want to change it when there are so many people who do agree with it?

I guess a better question is what has suddenly made me superior, smarter, and better equipped to decide for all?

If we really think about it, it would remind us of a battle long ago where one stood and said he would decide for everyone what was best. Gratefully, Another stood and said that He would do the will of His Father.

I’ve always loved plan B.

When we take a sincere moment to think about it, isn’t that the example for each of us?

Is our religion and our faith based in man/woman-made precepts?

Or, do we deeply and fervently believe that our religion and faith is of God? That everyone has a place and a responsibility and we are acting under divine guidance and not just by general vote or consensus?

If we do, then wouldn’t it be incredibly pretentious and brazen of us to be “protesting and making demands” of something we believe is being guided and run by God?

We know of one who did exactly that. We know what happened to him.

If we are following his example and plan, and declaring that we know what is best, then I don’t think it is that far of a jump to realize just who we are following.

I don’t want to be under his power.

Do you?

The day will come when we witness the Second and Majestic Coming and the government will at last be under the direction of Heaven. Gone will be the stalemates and power mongering and arguments about what is the right thing to do. It will be better than we can even imagine.

Until then, we have the responsibility to stand up and try to promote what we feel is in the best interest of the country. We will vote and campaign and debate and compromise.

That is as it should be.

But I am so grateful that I don’t have to attack my religious beliefs with the same dogged determination to make sure it is being run correctly.

I know it is being run correctly.

I get to focus my energies then on learning and understanding and serving and loving. I get to be with people I trust and change the things about myself that block my happiness.

And I am so deeply grateful for it.

After all, no one is forcing me to stay.

I am free to choose.

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