Thursday, May 26, 2005
Another chapter in my continuing chronicles of doctrines which I find to be very simple, yet other “intellectuals” find disturbing, offensive, and outdated.
In some countries, Great Britain being the first to come to mind, politics is a very strange animal. There is an official government, duly elected, constituted, and empowered to direct the affairs of the nation. The winning party has all the trappings of power, and conducts itself accordingly.
The losing party does not just take its place within the government as a minority power. It creates what is commonly referred to as a “Shadow Government”. Each department or ministry is mirrored by the opposing party. They then refer to themselves as the “Loyal Opposition”. I’ll add that to my dictionary of oxy-morons.
There are those who believe the Church functions in much the same manner. There are actually “shadow” churches made up of people who believe the Church has strayed too far (in one direction or another) from what they consider to be the truth. There are also those who attempt to influence the Church from within.
They consider themselves to be good, upstanding Church members. And by most definitions they probably are. That said, they believe they can influence church policy, teaching, and quite possibly doctrine. This they do in order to make the Church more acceptable to themselves and their peer group.
They hold conventions, seminars, symposiums, and have a large presence in the Bloggernacle. Through these mediums they pontificate their opinions with as much vigor as they can muster – hoping that somehow, someway, the Church will listen to, and heed, their counsel. They are learned, therefore they believe themselves to be wise.
I could here insert a reference to the folly of attempting to “steady the ark”, but that would take too much time. Look it up for yourself.
One thing they have evidently not learned, or if they learned it, it was quickly dismissed or forgotten, is one very simple concept. The Church is a Kingdom, not a Democracy. While we are governed by “Common Consent”, a rejection of a policy, teaching, or doctrine by the congregation does not mean said precept will change (or be changed) to suit the dissenters.
In a political world, you can be both loyal and opposed at the same time. That’s the way that system works. That is not the case in a patriarchal (they cringe when they read that word) order or organization. You cannot aid in building the Kingdom while at the same time taking aim at the foundation of that which you seek to build.
I’m not saying the Church is not without flaws. It is made up of imperfect people trying to manage a perfect system based on revelation. I’ve been a part of enough wards, stakes, branches, and groups to have figured that out by now.
But when I raise my hand to the square, and sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, it means that I believe they are what I sustained them to be. It means they talk to God – and God talks to them. They will not, and cannot, lead me astray.
I’ll take that over Conventional Wisdom and the Philosophy of Men every single time.
Here endeth the lesson.