“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Friday, July 02, 2004

We need to lead the way

Several years back, a friend of mine, a professor at a state university who is not a Christian to my knowledge, sent me a book he had written about natural supports to adults with disabilities. It was an interesting treatment of the topic. However, as I looked in the index for words like "church" or "religion" or even "faith-based" there were no listings. I responded by sending a hand full of articles which I had written on the topic and a brief note, "Have you considered this type of support."

Unfortunately, that is the perspective taken in much secular writing about the role of the church in supporting persons with disability. But I must admit that over the years when I have spoken publicly to secular groups about the potential of church support to persons with disabilities, I am sure to talk about the potential for support.

If you have read many of the entries in this blog, you get the idea that I am exhorting (critical in a positive way, I hope) the Christian church to do more to seek out and support the disenfranchised persons in the community. I honestly believe that if the Church was working harder at this, it would be impossible to write a book about supports for persons with disabilities and not mention the Church (I honestly still believe there is a lack of academic rigor evidenced by those who do write about support and don't mention religious groups). In a nutshell, I think the problem is that the Church is allowing the secular world to lead the way in so many areas of life, particularly as they relate to the works of the Church. So we put in ramps for wheelchairs when the ADA requires it. Why were Christian churches not the first buildings in the community to install ramps for access? At times, state agency caseworkers bring people with disabilities to the church of their own initiative. Why weren't we out there trying to recruit these people? Christian parents stay home from church because there is no place for their autistic son in the Sunday school class, or other children or families feel uncomfortable. The Sunday school should be redesigned to accommodate all children. Perhaps we could come up with the model for the delivery of educational services to children. We certainly have the mind of God on our side. I can't imagine that would be a logistical problem He couldn't figure out.

But the world looks at the public school system where integratiaon zealots have made efforts to integrate all students to the point of being goofy, and Christian parents keep their kids with disabilties at home because the Church has nothing for them. Man, this has got to change!


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