You can expect to add your own name, Juleun, to the title of your article on Perspective: We Need More Visionaries Like Joe, Bob and Charlie, 29 December 2015 , Juleun A. Johnson said: “The church seems to often discount ideas, vision, progress, and questions that pushes cultural cultural and ecclesiastic norms.”
While I did not know any of these individuals you cited in this fine article. It would seem that the common thread in their lives was a constant battle against the bureaucracy in the church. In some ways they may have succeeded because of what some may think was failure to be accepted by the bureaucrats in our church.
“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?”
― Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
When bureaucrats in the Adventist church structure perceive some problem exists, such as the recent Women’s Ordination issue, they think that more rules must be created and enforced and obeyed to solve the problem. One difference between a freedom-oriented individuals and a bureaucrat in this regard is in the use rules are put to. Rules as guidelines (heuristic rules-of-thumb) for decision-making can be very helpful in solving problems. Bureaucrats think that creating and enforcing MORE rules in and of itself “solves any perceived problem.” For them, the important consideration about any problem they perceive is that “we DO something about it by creating and enforcing more rules about it.” We see this happening after The San Antonio GC session with further “clarifications” and “guidelines”, “statements” by the bureaucrats in the seat of imagined power at the General Conference.
When church bureaucrats create and enforce more rules, they feel a satisfaction in their lame job performance. “At least we’ve DONE something about it!” They feel good. Even on the rare occasions when they admit that their rule creation and rule enforcement caused more problems than they solved, they still feel they have done their jobs well because they have obeyed the system of rules that is the essence of their jobs. They feel no one can blame them - and in fact they should be given lots of credit for a job well done! - when they use their system of rules to create and enforce more rules specific to a given domain or situation.
The good feeling about their job performance arises because:
(1) Church bureaucrats believe in the cult of following orders for their own sake, so they self-perpetuate this cult by creating and enforcing more rules - and feel good when they obey their own system;
(2) Among the few bureaucrats that care about the morality of their jobs: these few believe that part of the moral good they are doing on the job arises from convincing or forcing as many individuals as possible in their domain to obey the rules they have created.
It is a never ending battle! We (definetly) Need More Visionaries Like Joe, Bob and Charlie, (AND) Juleun A. Johnson!