What God says we will accomplish by meeting His way
From SaveTheWorld - a project of The Partnership Machine, Inc. (Sponsor: Family Music Center)
but in the multitude of counsellors they are established (plans succeed).
First Monday of the Month <> Office: Family Music Center, 4110 SW 9th St - meeting locations varyPlease RSVP to Dave Leach, 515-244-3711, firstname.lastname@example.org
Neither American society, nor America’s churches, offer a forum where ordinary people like us can reason with each other about difficult, divisive issues. Like the one Jennifer brought up in our Iowa Caucus discussion Feb 3: how do we protect everyone’s right to Freedom of Religion, when some religions believe in destroying others? (Not that there are no answers, but answers that make sense are not widely understood or agreed upon.)
Because there is no such forum for most people, it is difficult to develop consensus about what we can do together to fix things. For example, even people who agree abortion is murder and must be outlawed, struggle to agree on what legislation to support that might accomplish that.
Churches generally discourage political discussion because it is “controversial”. So Christians who want to do something about the evils identified in occasional sermons, must take their action outside church. (Caveat: Occasional rare actions, like attending an event or registering to vote, are taken only in some churches; the extensive discussions necessary to strategize and develop consensus to take effective group action, are allowed in church too rarely for me to have located them.) Christians then form Political Activist organizations, usually formed around a single issue, where one or two people receive contributions through a mailing list so they can go lobby lawmakers. But I have found it harder to get enough time to reason with these activists about better legislative approaches, than it is to get time to reason with lawmakers directly. There is simply no forum where new ideas, and differences of opinion about the most effective action, can be discussed and promoted if they pass scrutiny. I can’t believe I am the only American frustrated because ideas I have prayed about are not processed. I suspect quite a number of people have much wisdom to contribute, but so little opportunity to present them that they just shut down and become politically paralyzed with cynicism. So I believe an ongoing forum, much like a Republican Platform Committee except (1) open to all, (2) ongoing – not just for only one month every two years, and (3) not limited to what people think the public will want to hear but focused on what should be done and the best way to get it done, can make a difference way out of proportion to our small numbers. I believe a forum, done right, without requiring any commitment from anyone to take any particular action, will spontaneously inspire individuals to voluntarily take action, as promising strategies materialize. There is much more I would like to write about how to maximize our impact, but I have learned that Americans don’t like long letters.
Invitation for Christians wanting Biblical validation of our purpose and formats
Jesus calls us to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. Please join us, and help us bring the Gospel to a nearby, critical, yet overlooked part of our world: those public forums in which voters decide whether to pattern our laws after the principles of Heaven or of Hell. Churches generally call this “getting involved in politics”, which they consider a bad thing; while Christian activists think it imprudent to shine the Light in those forums of what God actually says about voter-enabled abominations.
Although it is a common Christian experience to feel like we are alone against Hell, (1 Kings 19:10, 14, 18), God designed us to “move mountains” (Matthew 21:21-22) together. With your help, that is. The primary need is not your money, (James 2:5-7), but your advice, God says in Proverbs 15:22. God’s name for His support system for success is a “multitude of counsellors”. In other words, a “Saltshaker Forum”, or a “Holy Ghost Think Tank”, or a “Partnership Machine”, where Christians can strategize how to get their Light outside their Matthew 5:13-16 “bushel”, which requires reasoning together respectfully in love to resolve any disagreements that block their cooperation.
God likes to answer group prayers, of people studying, reasoning, praying, sacrificing out of love, and working together. His promises to answer prayer are made especially to groups. Especially groups which process the wisdom of “all”, 1 Corinthians 14:1, 5, 12, 24, 26, 31, 39, and which do not impose a narrow slot through which wisdom must squeeze, 1 Corinthians 14:3, 26.
Groups don’t have to be large to pull down “mountains”. They can be very effective if they have at least two, Matthew 18:18-20.
Let us, together, aim to become that kind of Biblical forum, discussing which mountains of evil we are going to pull down together, strategizing how to do it, and then doing it.
Is it possible for Christians to reason together respectfully, in love, even about important matters about which we don’t all already agree, about every detail? God says it is. God's Book is full of relationship rules designed to reach precisely that need.
Secular meetings are kept orderly and democratic by Robert's Rules of Order. Discussion rules based on the Bible should be able to keep Christian interaction not just orderly, but respectful and bathed in love and humility, helping Christians develop their love. God’s Guidelines for relationships are so universal that they are helpful for human interactions in groups of any size, from thousands to two. God’s rules are worth discussing and understanding, because they contain wisdom and love capable of not only saving the world, but saving our nation, our churches, our friendships, and our marriages.
A search for Bible Rules for Relationships that is pretty rough, but an honest start, is posted at Bible Rules for Relationships. It needs your input to become useful.