Palliation

Posted: April 24, 2014 in On Being Apostolic
Tags: , , , , , ,

Symptoms.

Runny nose, sneezing, cough, watery eyes, and fever.

There’s a kajillion dollar industry dedicated to helping us alleviate them. There are pills, syrups, powders, fizzy drinks, and lozenges galore all marketed for the express purpose of relieving symptoms. When we catch a cold, we feel miserable. So, we take something to ease the symptoms associated with that misery. And we feel better.

We haven’t done anything about the cold itself…not really. But by addressing the symptoms, we can ignore the fact that we’re sick. At least, for a little while. There’s a word for this; palliation. It means to ease the symptoms without addressing the underlying disease. There’s a place for feeling better, mind you. Sometimes easing the symptoms makes you feel good enough to rest, and allows the body to fight off the virus. But to focus on comfort alone places you in danger of simply masking a more serious, abiding issue.

I’m afraid that the current emphasis in our movement on “Apostolic Identity” really amounts to little more than a cold remedy; it makes us feel a bit better but doesn’t really address the cause of the sickness. It’s kind of like one of those catch-call, night time cold relievers…you know, the “the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, so you can rest” kind. Just take a dose of general , non-specific preaching on “Apostolic Identity” and it’ll fix everything.

Only it won’t. It can’t. Because loss of identity in this context reflects a loss of significant cultural anchors, and that cultural loss won’t be addressed by general, non-specific preaching on the symptom of the loss of “Apostolic Identity.”

That’s called palliation.

More tomorrow on “Apostolic Identity”

Comments
  1. Had to look it up as I hadn’t heard of Apostolic Identity before. I have a theory about such things after observing the herd mentality of many Christians. Christian leaders know they are dealing with a herd of cattle rather than a flock of sheep. They know the cattle are drawn to the salt lick of the “latest, greatest thing” (i.e. pretty much every bit of advertising we see). For the most part, the cattle don’t want committed, long term, time taking, humility inducing relationship with God. They want to replace that with the fast acting, temporary gratification of excitement of the soul. It’s fast food Christianity pretending its a fuller, healthier meal.

    • Dennis Munn says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply! 🙂 For my part, I’m not certain that those in the Oneness Pentecostal movement who are promoting “Apostolic Identity” with such fervor are without the “committed, long term” relationship with God you speak of. In fact, I’m certain that most of them are very committed to a long term relationship with God. I just think their focus may be off.

      God bless, and thanks for subscribing!

      -dennis-

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