Rank and File Zion

Being Zion

Audio File: MP3 (8:46)

It is said in scripture that latter-day Zion will be gathered and organized by God alone and that no man will ever be able to say, “I have done this.” If you are not familiar with this concept, you might refer to Denver Snuffer’s brilliant 7-part series beginning here: http://denversnuffer.com/2016/10/all-or-nothing/.

As in the days of Adam, Enoch, and Shem (who became Melchizedek), no one man did anything but, with God’s insistance, admonish the people around him to repent. Finally, with Seth, Adam’s family had a righteous (and living) son through whom the line of the Family of God could continue. Adam did not force any of his children to obey God. Some just decided, however most did not. 

“And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man's hand was against his own brother, in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power.” Moses 6:15

Enoch was commanded of God to preach repentance unto the people in his day, and many responded. The Lord’s command was simple, “Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.” (Moses 6:33) Because of his faith and knowledge of God, Enoch was a powerful man but it was the faith of the people to repent that was the deciding factor in creating a Zion people. They were left to their agency to either respond or not. Again, some did but many did not. The repentant found themselves gathered in the City of Holiness (Moses 7:19) protected by God and, ultimately, raised up to return with Him to a future Zion to which God would gather the righteous of that day, our day.

“...and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

“And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other…” Moses 7:62-63

Melchizedek had much the same experience with his people: 

“Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;

“But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.” Alma 13:17-18

Again, we find the central theme of repentance among the rank and file. No coercive force was used by a “strong man.” Certainly there were men of courage and faith that stood up to the wickedness of the world and denounced it. But only persuasion was used to introduce the people to the idea that following God was the better choice.

And so it is in our day. Voices appear among us inviting our repentance. If there are those who figure out how to repent enough that the Lord can work with them in building Zion, the way will be opened by the Lord for that gathering to take place. And there’s the rub. How to figure out how to repent enough and become worthy of Zion.

Our paradigm is so vastly different and our mental conditioning so complete that any substantive change toward Zion may be nearly impossible for many. Those whose traditions have blinded them against thinking approaching ships in the fog are actually lighthouses, will surely be dashed on the rocks of pride and haughtiness. How sad that but for a smidgeon of humility and meekness, they could be gathered. Rather they would arrogantly execute those who might suggest even the possibility of a lighthouse and its accompanying rocky coast. In times passed, execute meant a literal burning at the stake, today it means excommunication by the stake.

Still, even those of us warning against lighthouses are empty of ideas when the subject of exactly how to build Zion is raised. Fortunately, we do not have to know. The Lord knows and that is enough. Our task is to begin to prepare ourselves—emphasis on ourselves—to be worthy of the gathering. The obvious question, then, as we gather in small, local groups, is about how to be organized. If there is an organization, then there is a leader of the organization. Ah, there’s that pesky paradigm again getting in the way of new thinking.

As I considered this idea some months ago, I coined what I thought then was a fairly clever phrase: “Leaderless leadership and unorganized organization.” It was the closest thing my feeble mind trying to break out of its old paradigm shell could conclude. Since then I have considered something else that uses a circle with the thought that God is decidedly not unorganized. And a circle represents, to me, a perfect organization.

If group members are equal in authority and each member cedes their opinion as being equal in validity to any other member, then the group may rightly resemble a circle with each member standing precisely shoulder to shoulder. There is no stronger structure. 

In contrast, the strong man model puts the leader in the center of an imprecise circle with each member ceding their authority and opinion to the leader and whether or not each set of shoulders meets exactly with another is unimportant. Such a structure is weak and vulnerable to outside influences and internal bickering.

No longer do I consider “leaderless leadership” but that each group member is an equal leader which only works when no one pushes another with coercion. When each is more willing to back away and give another the floor first, how can there be contentions and disputations? There is, however, a leader in the middle of the circle. There can only be one such leader and no man is qualified. In the middle of such a circle of righteousness stands the Lord Jesus Christ.

Enticing Him into the circle of our fellowships is the goal. How we attempt to accomplish that tender achievement will be considered in posts to come.

In The Being Zion Category
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