Why can’t we have non-denominational political parties?
I’ve always been deeply suspicious of large organizations. The bigger the scarier. Human beings have a way of taking great ideas, forming them into grand structural artifacts and then, eventually, contorting them into unrecognizable, grotesque organizations with only scant traces of what the founding mission statement set out to embody.
Stick with me. I’m going somewhere with this.
I was having a conversation with my son at dinner last night and he gave me this idea when we were discussing who won the election for mayor here in the city where we live. My son has only a passing interest in politics, and like the forty percent of voters who did not vote in the 2012 election, finds the whole process so disingenuous and outlandish that he pays as little attention to it as possible being convinced that American politics are so corrupted that — when all is said and done — it matters little which actor wins the part.
As we were discussing the political stances of our new mayor and how he might govern, my son said, “But Mom, the mayor’s non-denominational, right?” I chuckled to myself as I knew he meant non-partisan but it triggered an idea that I think needs exploring.
When you study the two thousand year history of the Christian church — which entails looking at the schisms, factions and numerous denominations that exist to this day — as well as their reasons for coming into existence, one can get lost in the minutia and, if not careful, rarely hear a word about Jesus. The very one whose life and purpose changed the world and birthed a new way to know and worship God, finds himself but a minor actor on a stage of competing organizations whose loyalty somehow gradually shifted until devotion to the denomination and guarding against its destruction supersedes all else.
Paradoxically, it is this very staid environment that makes the ground fertile for — you guessed it — a new denomination!
Politically and as a nation, this is where we find ourselves today. Groping around in the ashes of yesterday trying to find our true purpose and a reason — as well as a way — to move forward. Both parties have drifted so far away from our founding principles that only the most blind loyalist in either party can justify continuing on with business as usual for even one more election cycle.
That’s why the Tea Party is such a refreshing movement. It’s new and its name exploded into existence as the common people screamed out with rage at Washington that we are, “Taxed Enough Already!” Although, in its infancy, it has found itself struggling to work inside the Republican Party, it is still pretty “non-denominational” in that its purpose is simple and clear. And if nothing else, its existence gives me hope for the future. But, where do we go from here?
I have always been a realistic optimist — meaning that I learned long ago that denial of the present condition of any situation is not conducive to success in the future. And while I cannot deny the deep bitterness I have felt over the election results this past week, for some reason, I have hope for the future.
I didn’t write this to be critical of where we went wrong or pretend I have the answers for how to move forward. Just that I have confidence that we still have a future and we will eventually find Jesus — or metaphorically — our true purpose again.
Have a nice weekend, fellow patriots, and be encouraged. We still have much to be grateful for and plenty of wonderful people who will not give up the fight.