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Religious Elections In A Democratic Church
In the future, people will vote to decide how their church functions.
Have you ever thought that the churches you've seen were run like Nazi dictatorships? Have you ever thought that it was wrong for the church leaders to tell you what to believe, to tell you what to think, and to tell you what to do? All churches seem to be run the same way, no matter what kind of church they are. A church might be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or Mormon, but they all expect you to follow their leadership, and they don't give you a voice, they don't give you any freedom. Don't worry, there is hope. The advent of democratic religion will change the way churches are run.
Democratic religion will allow people to establish new churches that are democratic. The word 'democratic' means that their motivation and leadership comes from a democratic process, not from a dictator who simply tells you what to do. In a democratic church, elections will be held regularly. You will not only choose who the minister will be, by voting, you will also be able to establish the doctrine of the church by voting. In a democratic church, candidates will run for office, like politicians running for office. Members of the church will vote for whatever candidate they think will be best for the church.
In an election campaign for minister, one man may give a speech, and he may say, "I want you to vote for me, as minister, because I think I can provide the stability that the church needs in these troubled times. I have some religious training, I was a former member of the Catholic church, and I left because I felt that Catholic church was out of touch with our true faith. If I am elected minister, I will stand firm on old-fashioned moral values, I am against abortion, I think homosexuality is a sin, and I want to preserve the faith, so please, brothers and sisters, vote for me." Another man would then step forward and he would give his campaign speech, he might say, "I am running for the office of minister, and if you vote for me, your vote will help me lead the church in a new direction. I want to lead us out of the darkness of the old ways, and I want to take the church in a new direction. I am in favor of a woman's right to choose an abortion, I am also in favor of allowing homosexuals to join the church. I believe that Jesus Christ will forgive homosexuals for their sins. I believe that a more liberal approach will bring new light and new energy to the faith, so please, my friends, vote for me."
That's an example of how two candidates would campaign for votes during an election. Whoever gets the most votes would win. So, the clergy would be elected, but choosing the clergy is not the only thing that will be done by a democratic process, the religious doctrine of the church will also be decided by voting. Every issue in the church will be decided by voting. The members of the church will choose the name of the church by voting, they will establish the basic tenets of their faith by voting, they will even vote on prophecy.
Let's consider the name of the church. First of all, the church may have a generic name to begin with, it will be a provisional name, like 'The Democratic Church of God' (this would be a temporary name, it would later be replaced by the permanent name). Members of the church will be able to suggest a new name for the church, the new name will be the permanent name of the church. Suppose one man steps forward and suggests that the church should be called "The Democratic Church of Christ". The church members hold an election, and suppose 67 percent of the church members vote no. That means that the new name will not be accepted. One may may step forward and he may say that the name 'Democratic Church of Christ' implies that the church will only be open to people who believe in Christ, and therefore, it's not a good name, because some members of the church may be Jews or Moslems, who don't believe in Christ. So, he suggests that the church should be called "The Believer's Voice Church". After hearing his proposal, they take another vote and when the votes are counted, they find that 88 percent of the people voted yes, so they now have a new name for the church, it will be called the Believer's Voice Church.
After choosing a name, they will then decide on rituals. One man steps forward and he suggests that prayer should be the basic religious ritual in the church. He asks the church members to vote on it, and when the votes are counted, they find that 99 percent of the church members voted yes. Since the majority voted yes, prayer has been established as an official religious ritual in the church. The only 'no' vote came from one member who said that Zen Meditation should be a church ritual. This is just an example of how a religious election might turn out. Church members can vote to decide which rituals will become official church rituals, for example, what about baptism? Will baptism become an official ritual of the church? The members of the democratic church can vote to decide if they want baptism, or not. What about confession? In the Catholic church, Catholic devotees practice the ritual of confession, in which they confess their sins. Will confession become an official ritual in the democratic church? Only an election can answer that question.
Now let's turn to prophecies. Suppose someone steps forward, and he says that he has a vision of war. He thinks there will be a global war, he calls it world war three. He says in world war three, atomic bombs will be dropped, and millions of people will be killed here in America, while at the same time, millions of people will be killed in Russia. He proposes that his prophecy about world war three should become an officially endorsed prophecy of the church. So, they have another election. In this election, let's suppose that 93 percent of the church members voted for this prophecy, so the world war three prophecy becomes an official prophecy of the church, it becomes one of their official beliefs
All of the elements of their religious beliefs will be chosen by voting. What about the soul? Do you believe that each person has an immortal soul that lives on after death? Church members will vote on whether they believe in the soul or not. I predict that the votes cast for the soul will be nearly unanimous in favor of the soul. I think that about 99 percent of them will vote that they believe in the soul. All the church doctrines and prophecies will be compiled in the church record, which is like the holy book of the church. The church members will vote to choose an editor for their holy book, they will vote to choose a name for the holy book (before it actually has a name if would be referred to as the 'church record' or 'church chronicle'), and they will also vote to choose a treasurer. The church treasurer would be responsible for controlling any money that is donated to the church. The church members will also vote to decide how the money will be spent.
A democratic church will also reach out into the community, through various church outreach programs. A democratic church may also create their own parochial schools. A democratic church may also create a homeless shelter to help the homeless. Democratic religion is the future of organized religion.
Anthony Ratkov, September 18,2012.