COMMUNITY ORGANIZING: TO UNITE US OR DIVIDE

Did you volunteer for a political campaign during the primary elections? Do you expect to volunteer during the general election? Then this post is for you.

One of the most thankless jobs is working for a political cause, political candidate or a political party. What are these jobs about? The goal is to organize a community of people behind a shared belief. Why? If we can get enough people to support our cause, candidate, or political party; we can fund or legalize our cause, we can elect our candidate, or we can make our party the majority party.

Where did this notion of community organizing come from? It is, strangely enough, an invention. About a couple of thousand years ago an unusual man taught us that we are all His brothers and sisters.

Matthew 12:46-50 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him

46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

One of His chief apostles put it this way.

Galatians 3:26-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

Sons and Heirs

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Back then only royalty would dare to claim any relationship with divinity. Yet there He was, claiming to be the Son of God, that we are His brothers and sisters. When He rose from the dead, people believed Him!

The movement — the religious belief — the community of brothers and sisters that Jesus had begun slowly grew. Eventually, the Way of the followers of Jesus Christ conquered the most powerful empire humanity had ever produced. And some observed what had been done and wondered what else could be done. Therefore, instead of just trying to conquer the world using hordes of armed and vicious men, would-be conquerors started organizing communities of their own liking. Others, however, found more joy in love and unity than in division. These continued to spread Christ’s Gospel.

Why is community organizing so effective? It answers a very basic need. We are social creatures. We need each other’s help, even would-be world conquerors.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Value of a Friend

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Therefore, when one of your neighbors wants to chat about his cause, his candidate, political party, or even just about his troubles; take a moment to listen, and see if he is willing to do the same.

You may not agree. You may not be able to help. You may not wish to help. The best community organizers seek ways to resolve our differences so that we can live and work in harmony. The worse seek to pit us against each other so that they can profit from our strife. Therefore, if your neighbor is more interested in division than unity, you may not wish to join his community. Still, we can all take a moment time to listen and remind each other we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

In November 2018, we will be voting, and some people, community organizers, will be trying to contact us and join us to their cause, their candidate, and/or their political party. If you have the time, please take a moment to listen. Your TV, your phone — whatever that electronic gadget may be — it is still not as interesting as a real person. So if you have time, please set it aside and converse. If you don’t have time, please be polite.

Remember.

Two are better than one

When we cut ourselves off from each other, we do ourselves — our brothers and sisters — no good.

8 thoughts on “COMMUNITY ORGANIZING: TO UNITE US OR DIVIDE

  1. Thank you for writing this Tom, great perspective! I have to admit I had a different idea on what your post would be about based on the title and appreciated the jolt your conclusion brought to my thinking. You are so right that we need to communicate with others. Too often when it comes to politics I just stop talking about it with the other side as I’ve found it incredibly frustrating.

    We are all people and, like you said children of God, we should be listening to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Tricia

      I hope you realize I was not patting myself on the back. I like to talk much more than I like to listen.
      😕

      There is a reward for listening, however. When someone starts talking to us, our first reaction is to try to fit them into some stereotype, but everyone is unique. If we listen, we discover a perspective we did not know about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Didn’t think that at all Tom. Not that you like to talk more than listen but that you were not patting yourself not he back. 😉

        Learning other perspectives is the only way we can challenge our own and either be even more sure of them or, gasp, find out we were wrong. I have trouble with this at times! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom,

    Very inspirational post.

    Sadly though, my experience helping in a local campaign was to recognize that many of the volunteers seemed to be expecting if my candidate won, there was a job or political appointment in store for their future.

    Granted, many good people with genuine concern for our nation volunteer in elections to send candidates to Washington. But local elections, sadly, seem to bring out a different motive, in my opinion.

    I believe term limits might help, but it is no guarantee, in my opinion. Then again, when you get my age, and experience reality, something else creeps into view. Not sure it is wisdom or cynicism.

    That’s why they “shoot old horses,” and perhaps should set term limits too?

    Regards and good will blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @scatterwisdom

      I have seen people work devotedly for candidates without any expectation of reward, except more volunteer work. Are there large numbers of such people? Perhaps. We all pursue different causes, but there are obviously plenty of self-interested souls out there. Hell exists because not all of us are going to Heaven.

      I don’t have a problem with term limits. I think term limits will help, but the only real solution is a commitment to Christian values. As it is, politicians are not about to term limit themselves. That will take a Convention of the States.

      Like

  3. Cool post,Tom. I’ve never really thought of it that way, but Jesus is the ultimate community organizer, rallying us all around a common cause. I like to say our political disagreements are simply debates over how best to love people. That’s a hard idea to hang onto in the midst of a lot of hostility and division, but I still think it’s the bottom line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @insanitybytes22

      To the extent we all have sincerely good intentions, our debates are over the best way to love people. Unfortunately, we are all flawed human beings. In any election quite a few of us want something for nothing.

      Like

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