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

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The ALL principle

It is funny how our human vanity impacts our theology. I look in the mirror and have little difficulty understanding that I (in my vanity) am "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Or I look in the same mirror and with little difficulty affirm that I (in my vanity) am created in the "image of God" (Genesis 1:27). Or I look in the mirror, and think about the delight that God must have experienced when he, "knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13). I mean, c'mon, look at me, isn't it obvious?

But then I look at someone born with a severe physical or cognitive disability and all of a sudden I am unsure about the whole fearfully and wonderfully made stuff, which never occurred to me when I was looking at myself. I wonder about the knitting together as clearly God would not knit like that (thinking about people born with disabilities). I may think like that, but God has something to say to me as well. "Don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to think" (Rom. 12:3).

I wonder about the impact of vanity on theology, in terms of 1)thinking I am a day at the beach and 2)in thinking that people with disabilities are a NOT a day at the beach. There are so many scriptural principles which include the word "all" but I have missed what I call the "ALL PRINCIPLE" as I am typically focussed on persons without disabilities, people like me.

Scripture doesn't say, using the examples above,
"some of us are fearfully and wonderfully made"
"some of us are created in the image of God"
"some of us God knit together in our mother's womb"
Scripture also doesn't say,
"some of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God"
"some of us are loved by God"
"we are to love some of the people around us"

All the teachings, all the promises, all of the scriptures, the reasons for Jesus' sacrifice, the whole thing is for all of us. Actually, it is for all of us or it is for none of us.

I honestly think that the church does not believe in the ALL PRINCIPLE. It takes most of what is in me to believe in the ALL PRINCIPLE. I have been socialized by society and by the Christian church to believe otherwise. It takes courage, because disability has been constructed by society and the Church to be something other than it is. I recognize that I am stepping out in faith when I believe in the ALL PRINCIPLE. I will meet with opposition whenever and wherever I stand up for the ALL PRINCIPLE.

It is crazy but it is true.



Anonymous said...

The first thing that came to mind was that eventually, if we live long enough, we all lose are looks. We get old and wrinkled. Our health starts to deteriorate and our minds are not as sharp as it use to be. We put on a few more pounds. We don't walk as well as we use to...it is like we are all destined to become disabled. Where's the vanity now? Now we are on the other side of the spectrum. I think it is kind of ironic. We are all the same...made in the image of God and God's children.

Anonymous said...

I can truthfully say that I thought exactly the same way about persons with disability. Why has God chosen them to live with a disability and not myself or others. As you stated though we must trust God and understand that we all are created in his image and that everything he said and did was for all of us(especially persons with disabilites). To really see what the church is doing or not doing has opened my eyes tremdously. They to need to understand that we are all God's children and we all should be treated as such. With taking your class I believe I have developed that courage you speak of to truly embrace and believe in the ALL principle.