We need mixed DNA

One of the comments the "parents" of our new puppy, Mac, made were "never to breed merles to merles because it often results in puppies that are deaf or blind".  The thing about genetics is that if you breed DNA that is too similar then certain malformations happen or a tendency for genetic disease manifests. I once had a veterinarian tell me a mutt was the healthiest breed there was.

I'm curious if the same doesn't happen within organizations.

There is a phrase "the same thinking that got you here will not get you out." However, if you happen to have an organization with all of the same types of thinkers, it may work a bit like genetics--a lack of diversity will ensure some dysfunction. Just as a variety in DNA minimizes disease physically a variety in thinking helps minimize dysfunctions typical to certain types of groups.

I had a conversation with a young woman the other day who mentioned that while she loves Jesus, she never labels herself a Christian because the word has become burdened with a variety of political stances that she doesn't share.  Like the Pharisee's of Jesus' time, I believe organized religion has certain tendencies that become more prominent the more it shuts out divergent voices. (In fact, that is a big plot line in the Gospels--Jesus is different and the religious leaders can't stand it.)

Politically, we actually abhor situations where divergent thought is cut off.  We see the persecution by dictators and know it is a terrible idea.  But in our religious circles, we have a high tolerance for it. In fact, we can look at the recent treatment of Rob Bell or Victoria Osteen to see it in action.  (It is also interesting to me that both have huge platforms which means they aren't alone in their thinking.)

Allowing for divergent voices and deliberately exposing ourselves to people with different influences creates broader ways of seeing. In fact, I believe God brings people with new perspectives to every arena.  I'm not talking about the critics, the mockers and the haters. A person's spirit is usually revealed quickly in the way they share.  But divergent ideas shared in love should be acknowledged--not only for them, but also for us.  It takes humility to listen without rushing to defend.  And even if we don't agree, acknowledgement isn't the same as affiliation. After all, what credit is it to us to include those who are virtual clones of ourselves?

The danger comes when we seek to shut the voices off.  When we only spend time with those who are like us. It creates inbreeding of ideas.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall