After a lovely and lengthy grad-student Bible study on the riches and implications of Romans 1:18-32, including a healthy conversation about the highly "controversial" verses 24-27, with people who range in spectrum from a traditionally conservative Ghanian (African) Christian couple to the "raging liberal feminist" Christian co-leader, who is paired with and joined by multiple levels of moderately between these two other members and other co-leader, I find myself leaving with a sort of simple conclusion. Healing and real wholeness in our lives, truly being restored from the exhaustively tainting sin-disease of our fallen world, comes only when we dig down to minister to the roots and not only bandage up (or approve or condemn) the literally superficial behaviors that are easily noted or dismissed but which are only symptomatic of the deeper, core issues we seek to have satisfied. Visually: the reminder came with the image of weeding the beach at Sandy Cove (Cedar Campus) where we learned that what looked like a simple task of yanking out the beach grass or the flowering flat-weed we could see would only end in temporary abatement of a more signficant problem. If we only pulled out the top, the weeds returned in fuller force. The "cure" was to take a shovel and dig--deeper than the bottom of the root system and pull out the whole network. The truest satisfaction of knowing the issue was solved came only with the harder work of addressing (attacking) the problem at its real source--the roots. I don't think this is my own personal pressing for depth ideology, since it's even demonstrated botanically, but I find in ministry and social work lately that my favorite "diagnostic" or "problem-solving" technique is asking the question: "What's underneath that for you?" and trying to call myself and others to move beyond the simple to the real core, so that indeed we might truly find the answers, healing and satisfaction we are seeking.


Blogger Scott Sloan said...

Twelve step programs and other things are only models of getting to the core issues when it comes to finding wholeness and significance.

9/23/2004 6:31 AM  
Blogger e said...

good post, meesch!

i think that analogy works in another way: we can only actually pull out network-type problems when we "put our backs into it" and do some hard work. my problem with most counselling and even church stuff is that everything is treated as a doctor/patient or preacher/congregant relationship where the expert gives the advice/diagnosis and the patient/lone christian is left to work it out on their own.

it seems like the only way these things get really solved is through a lifestyle change and the way lifestyles get changed is through long-term relationships. but the experts--even pastors (esp. of large churches)--don't have the time to really get in there and dig out the roots with the people that need the help. so all we do is go around and around picking at the surface weeds.

9/23/2004 10:24 AM  
Blogger Scott Sloan said...

Erik, awesome response. Investing in people's lives especially broken lives can be long, drawn out, and painful. There is guarantee that both parties will get hurt.

The rewards, however, can be tremendous. Sanctification is a journey, and there is no easy answer to wholeness.

9/23/2004 11:40 AM  

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