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

Monday, August 02, 2004

How would things be different? The community

For the last part of this discussion, I wanted to briefly discuss how the community would be different if the church truly was obedient in the area of disability ministry. First of all, the church would be "the church," not separate churches. It is true that it is easier to talk ecumenically than it is to live it because each denomination has a slightly different perception of what is the truth. We often find ourselves distancing from each other over arguably lesser matters of theology even though we agree on the kernel of the truth; that is who Jesus is and was. Perhaps this will always be an insurmountable hurdle in community collaboration among "the church" for ministry purposes. In my mind, however, this is an important first step.

If you take the city where I live, for example, the City of Redlands, California, Christian churches are a pervasive presence. If the churches in Redlands could somehow become "the church" in Redlands, the impact would be incredible. But as is stated in the Lord of the Rings, the power of the enemy is seen in the disarray of those who oppose him. If "the church" in Redlands made ministry to persons with disability a peculiar focus (it would be peculiar in comparison to the church worldwide) families of persons with disabilities would flock to Redlands to receive the support and compassion of "the church" there. Secular community agencies would speak of the powerful impact of "the church" in the community and the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Even the most radically secular of individuals would have to admit, "I'm no Christian, but 'the church' in Redlands surely would make me give Christianity a good look." "The church" in Redlands truly being "the church" would be a model for the entire world.

You know when I write this blog, I come with ideas in mind, and try to expand on them in a cogent fashion. It is a discipline to get me to try to think through ideas relative to disability and Christianity. Sometimes I come up with novel ideas, novel to me at least.

This morning, I think the Lord has given me a new vision for what I can do.


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