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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fed in a particular way

On a recent trip to Uganda, I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing a bishop of the Anglican church, the Right Reverand Michael Nazir-Ali.  He was brilliant and delightful company and I was blessed to meet him.

In one of his sermons, he made the comment relating to being "fed in a particular way" as leading to a particular type of discipleship.  This notion of being fed in a particular way really began to ruminate in me.  I thought that if you are fed in a particular way it might lead to a particular set of actions or responses.  If my feeding is largely cerebral, I will probably expect a cerebral response.  If my feeding is largely emotional I might expect an emotional response.  If my feeding makes no demands for action or demands me to do something I will not act.  If my feeding is geared toward doing something, particularly doing something in the service of others, then chances are I will act in that way or in a manner that reflects my feeding.

I also got the feeling that you can be fed in such a way that you don't get beyond a particular discipling stage.  That is an interesting idea as well.  Maturity in ministry would cause us to think about the discipling stage of those we are discipling.  If we are sufficiently aware, we would try to determine the connection between the particular way we are feeding people and the particular outcome of that discipling in order to evaluate our feeding practices.

I can't help but wonder what the exclusion of persons with disabilities indicates abour the particular way that the church has been fed.  If everyone from the leadership on down shows no interest in devalued people or persons with disabilities that would imply something about how those people have been fed.  They have been fed to believe that they have no responsibility for their neighbor with a disability.  They have been brought up on an exclusive form of love that feels no hypocrisy in not loving some people.

I think we really need to look at ourselves, at our churches, at the behaviors of churches and ask ourselves if who we are is an artifact of how we have been fed, and when will we change that way of being fed such that we are better prepared and provided with better motivation and opportunities to love our neighbors.


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