Caitlyn is my granddaughter, and she has Downs Syndrome. When you meet her she has the most infectious giggle and gives hugs that just melt her grandfather’s heart. She has no formal educational qualifications and cannot perform any occupational tasks. She also has some medical issues that require daily medical interventions. In contrast, I have a PhD, a history of professional occupational accomplishments, and I’m as healthy as a horse! The point that is important here is that I was granted enormous privileges at birth that was not something that Caitlyn enjoyed.
The concept of white privilege has become a political hot potato. Strangely, our Black brothers don’t seem to find it as strange as those in the White church. In fact, many reject any talk of “privilege” and will too often respond defensively when someone points out their privilege, as if they are being accused of something that they are not responsible for. The political landscape has muddied the water by coupling white privilege to demands for reparations, guilt about historic injustices, and affirmative action. We need to step away from the political discourse and return to a biblical understanding of privilege.
There are 5 Dimensions of the human person we have identified in our new vision of discipleship:
- Spiritual Formation undergirds all the others and is the way we summarize what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Matthew 22:37-40).
- Personal Wholeness focuses on emotional heath and proper self-respect, and biblically, emotional and spiritual maturity are inseparable (Ephesians 4:17-5:33; Colossians 3:1-16).
- Healthy Relationships is the dimension that reflects the biblical command to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” From our families to our friendships, all relationships can be marked by love and wisdom (I Corinthians 13)
- Vocational Clarity means we have a sense of calling and purpose that is more than our current job, but informs our daily life and work (Ephesians 2:8-10).
- Economics and Work is the dimension that speaks to our daily lives as the place where our discipleship and mission are carried out (Jeremiah 29; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; I Timothy 2:1-6)