If you have spent any time at all, on my blog, you may have noticed my name followed by this tag; "Always Right; Sometimes Wrong."
That descriptor is intended to state my political leanings. I try to be a conservative first and always regardless of any potential personal loss or inconvenience. That puts me on the Right. But the second part is a personal recognition and admission of the fact that I don't know everything. Sometimes I am wrong.
I was wrong a few years ago when I worked with a church committee to craft a new constitution. When attempting to describe a model for the way a multiple church leadership staff should function, we wrote that the staff would make decisions by "consensus." That was a mistake!
Now, I know what WE meant when we wrote it. In the first place, it was never our intention to ignore or overlook the authority of God's Word or the fact that Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. But, in matters of church leadership, where the Word of God was silent, unclear, or vague, it was our intention to attempt to achieve godly unity.
In fact, we even identified how that should happen. For example, if the team was considering a decision regarding a ministry or church action and there was disunity, the team would consider their decision based on known Revelation. If any person could not justify his preference or objection on the basis of a scriptural command or principle, he must concede to the majority. That is what we called consensus.
Unfortunately, that didn't work. Most of the people did not understand the concept nor were they able to differentiate between unity and unanimity. It was confusing and so, many decisions were derived by unanimous affirmations and, in essence, each of the team had affective veto power over the majority.
So, I repeat; I was WRONG. Like compromise, consensus is a four-letter-word that really has no place in church leadership or polity. In fact, the "Consensus Process" is a modern term for an old concept; "The Hegelian Dialectic."
What is that? Paul Procter describes it as "...a 200-year-old, three-step process of 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis', developed in the late 1700's by a German named Georg William Friedreich Hegel that resulted in what we now know as 'group-think.' It is a system Dean Gotcher of Authority Research Institute, calls 'Praxis' that Socialists have used for centuries to seduce, seize, and control mass populations without warfare. It is also in full operation here in the United States under such names as: 'Outcome Based Education.' 'Goals 2000.' 'Sustainable Development.' 'School To Work,' 'DARE' and many more. It's all about embracing 'tolerance, diversity, and unity' for The New World Order. To put it in layman's terms, it's brainwashing."
"Here's how it works: A group gathers, and has agreed beforehand that each in attendance will ultimately surrender his or her own personal position on any given issue to the will or 'consensus' of the group after *processing to consensus* through dialog. In a Christian setting, the presupposition is that the group's will determines 'the will of God.' The group's 'facilitator,' whoever that may be, mediates between sides, be they 'good and evil,' 'for and against,' 'republican and democrat,' 'liberal and conservative,' etc., whatever the case may be, often instigating heated confrontations between the opposing sides for the purpose of suggesting compromise as the perfect solution to restore and maintain the peace and the relationships of everyone involved. The resulting outcome or *consensus* is then re-introduced if necessary, at the next meeting for more 'Praxis,' more dialog and more compromise until another 'consensus' is reached. Then the 'process' repeats all over again...and again...and again until the facilitator's desired outcome is achieved. Over time, the convictions and concerns anyone may have had originally, are processed away beyond recognition or relevance leaving one and all to accept the facilitator's pre-determined outcome as the consensus of the group. It's no longer a question of what is right or wrong, good or bad, lawful or unlawful, but rather HOW WE ALL FEEL ABOUT IT...no absolutes, no conscience, no convictions, no laws, no Constitution, no Bible and NO GOD!!!...only consensus....and a contrived consensus at that. Pretty slick huh? That's the Hegelian Dialectic."
Always Right; Sometimes Wrong!
first posted 5/11/09