Monday, May 11, 2009

The Outward Disciplines (The Spiritual Life and Mission)

We talked about "outward" or "missional" disciplines last Tuesday in my Spiritual Life class. We considered the issue of how disciplines relate to mission.

In Finding Our Way Again, Brian McLaren lists four interpretations of God's mission (the list was not meant to be exhaustive, but illustrative).
A. God wants to heal the world. In order to do so, God recruits coworkers who must be healthy so they don't spread more sickness, and health care workers so they don't just keep good health to themselves. Unfortunately, there are no completely healthy people for God to work with. So in the spiritual formation process, God starts with unhealthy people and first helps them become healthier, so they can be put to work bringing health to others, and to the world.

B. God wants to heal individuals. Individuals (we might call them "souls") are God's primary concern. If there are more and more healthy individuals, the world will become a healthier place as a by-product.

C. God only cares about the world. You as an individual don't really count. Your private or personal life is your private or personal concern; just be sure you vote and work for social justice (or the spread of capitalism, communism, liberalism, or conservatism, whatever).

D. God only cares about the individual. This whole world will soon be disposed of, so all that matters are individual soals.
Which of these sounds best to you, and how does your decision affect your view of spiritual formation and/or disciplines?

No comments: