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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Are Our Institutions Relics of the Past?

Do we populate structures that are relics of the past? What will future social and organizational mappings look like? How does one map the Kingdom of God—supposedly a reality that will be fully realized on earth eventually. There is no doubt that our current structures testify to the fact that we harbor relics of the mind.

The “strong leader” is clearly such a relic. The concept is well defined—it is the line of kids playing the game “follow the leader”—all following in tow behind a strong leader. Or it is the person at the top of the organizational hierarchy propagating directives and orders. Or it is the President firmly in charge as the Commander-in-Chief.

This might be called—probably in great unfairness to the insect—the “Ant Theory of Human Behavior.” It clearly does not sync with the real nature or aspirations of humanity, nor of humanity's breadth and depth, nor of the current reality of talent contribution. A realistic view of human organizations should start with legitimate authority most correctly seen as following divine authority.

In Matthew 13:33 we read: “Jesus also used this illustration: 'The Kingdom is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour it permeated every part of the dough'” (Source).  That is, heaven influences the world as yeast influences bread—it is not hierarchical or representative but broadly democratic. There is no aristocracy of talent, rather there is a democracy of talent with everyone being contributors. Here, the mapping of structure, rather than being hierarchical, is—for want of a better description—loaf structured. A slice of bread does not reveal hierarchy, rather it reveals universal contribution. (As salt of the earth, everyone can make a significant contribution to the enterprise of humanity.) In a loaf of bread, there is no Zeus figure ruling from above. Yeast simply does not influence in this way.

A loaf of bread clearly provides the organizational structure for the future. It will be more successful than other structures for it validates the real nature of man. Virtually everyone yearns to exercise leadership in this sense—to exercise democratic influence in their environment. This is a form of control that does not depend upon egotism or pride. Rather, it is gentle control, humble control. It is power that best reflects the current leadings of the spirit and the organizational structure of the future.

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