Hidden Messages of American Christianity: “Pastor O’Gill and the Little People”

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Pastor O'Gill and the Little PeopleThis is the fourth in a series of posts covering the hidden messages that sneak into American churches’ proclamation of the Gospel. For more background, please refer to this post.

Ugh. Yeah, that title’s a woefully forced play on the old Disney flick about leprechauns. Hey, I can’t be a fount of creative wit every day, right?

Some “little people” who came out in droves when I asked for a suggestion of other hidden messages in American Christianity. Oddly enough, they were the least likely people to shout out a suggestion, but shout they did. In fact, I was afraid that if I did not post concerning their plight, I might be beaten to death by a shillelagh.

I’m not sure I can quote a Scriptural passage detailing the necessity of introverts for the Church, but neither can I make much case for all the raging extroverts who occupy just about every position of prominence in many churches.

There’s no doubt that I’m a raging extrovert. For most of my life I was deemed “intimidating”: 6’4″ 215 lbs, “Boeing 747 at takeoff” in vocal decibel strength (and nearly as constant as the traffic on Runway #2 at San Francisco International), and an “Oh yeah? Prove it!” kind of attitude. Got something to say that everyone wants said, but no one’s got the testosterone to say it? Ask Dan; he’ll say anything. In fact, we can’t shut the guy up. (Please, someone, anyone, find his off switch! We’re begging!) Now that I’ve crossed forty, I finally learned my lesson. Now I try to listen at least as well as I yammer. Nor does the limelight offer the same temptation it once did.

To the average introverted person, though, Dan circa 1985 was either the kiss of death or an object of awe—in the same way that the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion or an attack of flesh-eating bacteria inspires horrifying, sickening awe. “I…can’t…look…away! And the goggles, they do nothing!” What does this have to do with hidden messages in American Christianity? Well, here’s an exchange that actually occurred recently (in HEAVY paraphrase):

Dan: Some people are intimidated when they walk into a church. And even when they’ve grown accustomed to it, you still need to personally ask them to volunteer for things.

Extrovert #1: Preposterous! Why, no one has to ask me to do anything—I’m just there. And nine times out of ten, I’m leading the whole shebang! Why when I was in Desert Storm—

Extrovert #2 (loudly inserting a word edgewise): Well, in the thirty years I’ve been a member of this church—and that was before any of you were here, I might add—I’ve never heard such a thing!

Introvert #1 (taking his life in his hands): Uh, if I may interrupt, the reason you’ve never heard such a thing is that you’re always talking.

Introvert #2: {Silent nodding.}

Talk to any expert on this subject and they’ll tell you that America is the most extroverted country in the world and the complete converse of the rest of the world. We’re about 75% extroverts and 25% introverts. I think only the Australians approach that level of in-your-faceness.

There are plenty of sources out there that claim that the American church is increasingly becoming Hollywood-lite, a non-stop exercise in entertainment, but this is not the place for me to go down that path. All I can add is that as the need to make ourselves (supposedly) appealing to the world increases, our level of extroversion increases proportionately. A spectacle then, by definition, must be an expression of unrestrained extroversion. Is it any wonder then that today’s churches are noted for their stages rather than their altars?

When Pastor O’Gill stands up and tells the congregation to “Meet and greet your neighbor” or to “Pass the peace,” I’m certain a few hardcore introverts are wondering if they’re lucky enough to be in a church that has one of those “defibrillators for dummies” that are cropping up here and there. Worse yet, be the introverted visitors who are asked to stand up and introduce themselves to the gawk-eyed regulars! O’Gill then offers that church life revolves around small groups where real sharing (an introvert’s worst nightmare) occurs. And lastly, one of the worship committee gets up to say that there’s a lack of Scripture readers who can be called upon at a moment’s notice to read the weekly passages during the service. Oh, thank goodness. All the extroverts raised their hands—another bullet dodged.

(Megachurches are an odd thing for introverts, though. So big that the agoraphobia kicks in or so big that one can get lost in the crowd, get in and get out, with no one hurt? No way to tell. Maybe a little of both.)

Still, somewhere between the blare of a John Eldredge-inspired movie clip on the massive stage-flanking screens and the plethora of people clapping and raising their hands up for God (and everyone else) to see, introverts have got to be wondering if the message of the Church is “Next week, we’re gonna make you dance in the aisles, too.” And this is an Episcopal church!

Yeah, the tone of this post is a little lighter, but that’s only because I’m coming from that grossly overcompensated for extroverted side of the church. I can live in that world, though the spectacle of it sometimes makes even me a little queasy. Yet no matter how you look at it, nearly everything the Church does in 2005 is geared to people who talk first and ask questions later. Quiet is anathema in our sanctuaries on Sunday, as if reflection before the Lord is a diabolical plot hatched up by monks—Roman Catholic monks.

Not all people do relational well. While women outperform on the interpersonal side of things—the side that points to some level of extroversion—men don’t like all that hugging and chatting. When we see that churches today are about 62/38 female to male with that ratio growing more disproportionate, could it have something to do with the fact that extroversion and feelings are hailed by the American Church of 2005 while introversion and thinking are dwindling away in the message? In addition, the extroverted, anti-intellectual way we conduct many of our churches may be contributing to the dearth of Christian intellectuals today (who are typically men whether we like it or not.)

Let’s look at this another way. What’s the scariest possible Christian church denomination for an introvert? Pentecostals. Most comfortable is an old school Presbyterian or Episcopal church. To an introvert, there’s probably people ready to speak in tongues or hankering to jump a pew in that Pentecostal frenzy, whereas in the Episcopal church they may even let you sit in the narthex instead of the sanctuary if you ask meekly enough. Yet what is the trend in many of those old school churches? Well, no worse words could be heard than the pastor proclaiming from the pulpit, “Next week we begin our new contemporary praise and worship service. We permit you to raise your in hands worship, too.” Where can a true introvert go?

I hear the Orthodox Church is growing….

In all seriousness, while the message may be that we want all people to join in the community of saints, our delivery, and the message we’re proclaiming—even if we say it nicely—is that only extroverts need apply. We don’t know how to reach the introverts in our churches. We may have droned on so long that they may actually have had something to say that is vitally important to the health and welfare of the congregation, but we missed it amid the noise.

I’m not an introvert. I understand, however, that some of the pillars of our churches are those people who serve unseen. They’re not the glamour boys who hog the spiritual spotlight, but they’re the old men who have an intercessory prayer ministry only they know about, a ministry that has prayed over every person in the church at least once. They’re the folks who may be the only one sitting at the hospital bed, lending quiet comfort to the ill. No one notices them come in or leave, but they were there. Perhaps they, too, prayed powerful prayers that shook the gates of heaven.

We extroverts, the majority, are sending the wrong message in the church to people who are introverts. We need to step back and see if there are betters means for incorporating the types of spiritual exercises that appeal to introverts. We have to understand how the ways in which introverts can minister can benefit us all in the Church. We may have to stop assuming that because we gave a blanket greeting to a small collection of people on Sunday, we sufficiently greeted the introverts. We need to stop talking for a second and start listening. God sometimes speaks in whispers, so even He has an introverted side, too.

As much as this post has been a defense of introverts and the necessary ministry they bring, as an extrovert I must ask this of introverts: Meet us halfway. We’ll promise to tone down the frantic extroverted message we’re shilling if you’re willing to understand that community only works if you’re actively involved in the life of the church on all levels.

Deal?

20 thoughts on “Hidden Messages of American Christianity: “Pastor O’Gill and the Little People”

  1. Rich Tatum

    I test as an INTP on the Myers-Briggs type inventory. I’m very introverted, though I’m no longer shy. But church drains me, even though I love to stay late for the conversations. I want a few deep friends more than social gladhanding. (Sorry, don’t mean to sound insulting to the extroverts.) I was dismayed to learn that I am among about 1-2% of the total population in any given setting. So, in the average 200 member church, there might be one or two others like me. 🙂

    I did find the Assemblies of God very daunting when my family took me to one as a high-schooler. And teaching and preaching drain my batteries like nothing else—despite any gifting I have. And church socials? Potlucks? Forget about it. Small groups for me.

    You might find this recent newspaper article interesting:

    Introverts in an extrovert’s world

    Regards,

    Rich
    BlogRodent

  2. burttd

    It’s not just a question of worship style and pastoral personality.

    It’s also about *evangelism*.

    I mean, seriously. What have been the staples of Evangelical evangelism?

    Door-to-door Evangelical Explosion campaigns.

    Standing in street corners handing out tracts.

    Calls for “Spiritual reproduction” – if you aren’t witnessing, you’re sinful or sick.

    Do the people who wrote those strategies have ANY idea what kind of a wringer that puts shy introverts through?

  3. Susan

    this is a great post, Dan. As an INJF on the Myers-Briggs, I can relate to Rich’s expression of feeling like a loner. In enviroments like the church, or American culture for that matter where extroversion is exalted along with multi-tasking (another ability I lack) one can feel quite ostracized and unwelcomed, even shamed.

  4. Burttd,

    I didn’t bring up evangelism or a whole host of other issues because I wanted people to think about the issue in a broader sense, coming up with examples on their own.

    While I no longer ascribe to the Meyers-Briggs like I once did (studies are showing that people change on the MBTI far more than was once thought), it isn’t hard to see that there introverts and extroverts.

    The problem is that neither ctageory is perfectly like Christ. Truthfully, as the Second Adam, Jesus perfectly embodied both extroversion and introversion, so anything that isn’t 50/50 is out of whack. Extroverts need to tone it down and introverts need to ratchet it up.

    The Great Commission necessitates personal interaction. The commandment of Jesus that we love one another necessitates personal interaction. We can’t live in a fortress. At some point we have to break out of the shell. Just as it is hard for an introvert to do those things, it is hard for an extrovert to be still and go off to a quite place away from the crowds for prayer and meditation.

    We all have to grow a little, don’t we?

  5. burttd

    Truthfully, as the Second Adam, Jesus perfectly embodied both extroversion and introversion, so anything that isn’t 50/50 is out of whack. Extroverts need to tone it down and introverts need to ratchet it up.

    I’m not sure I agree with that. I think that denies the *particularity* of Christ’s Incarnation. Is everybody supposed to have the exact same balance of personality traits? I don’t think so. Trying to make Jesus a sort of “perfect template of humanity” in that sense is taking it too far.

    Of course the GC demands personal interaction. But everybody doesn’t have to do it in the same manner. The “one-plan-fits-all” evangelism plans I was exposed to as a young Christian simply didn’t take non-extroversts into account.

  6. Rich,

    Thanks for the link and for your thoughts.

    I was curious about your comments though, you being one of the few self-identified Pentecostal bloggers out there. You said you had problems with the AoG, but how do you function in a Pentecostal church? My own experience has been that the AoG churches are less extroverted than Pentecostal ones. Has yours been different? What Pentecostal denomination is your church? Or do you not currently attend a Pentecostal church?

  7. Burttd,

    If Christ is the perfect man (and I believe He is), I would think that His personality distinctives would not be out of balance. If they were, how could he be fuly identified with us? If Jesus were an INFJ, how would an ESTP identify with Him? Would He even speak to an ESTP?

    Just wondering.

  8. Helen

    I feel like Susan, I totally relate. God has always provided a work enviroment that I can handle.

    There is a place for all of us. My pastor recently gave a series of sermons about the 12 disciples and the one that spoke to me was Andrew the behind-the-scenes servant. We are all part of the body made to do special things for God.

    I wonder how many bloggers are introverts? Is being introverted one of the things that draws them to blogging?

  9. KUDOS Dan! In my 40+ years as a Christian I don’t think I’ve ever heard or read anything along these lines.
    Now I will await a post by you on people who come to church alone. Same idea. In church land “think”, everyone comes with someone, usually their families. But out here in California, that isn’t the rule in many churches. adly, they don’t always understand this fact.

  10. burttd

    If Christ is the perfect man (and I believe He is), I would think that His personality distinctives would not be out of balance.

    I could ask you for some biblical verses to back up that assertion. How is “introversion” or “extroversion” more or less perfect than some “personality average”? To my mind, it’s like asking whether a pine tree is more perfect than a maple.

    If Jesus were an INFJ, how would an ESTP identify with Him? Would He even speak to an ESTP?

    Careful. Feminists ask the same questions regarding His gender. I don’t think His identifying with us depends on which personality type He was, but rather on His living in His human personality to perfection.

    The problem lies in the exaltation of one type of personality over all others. The exaltation of the extrovert is an American problem, and you do nail that one on the head.

  11. An interesting post, Dan, but I cannot fathom how your last paragraph, and bits of the one before, result from all that you wrote previously. They seems to negate any positive intention you have expressed beforehand, all those sweet words that are designed to show that you have some appreciation of where introverts are at. In the light of your conclusion they come across to me as possibly a whole lot of fluff.

    As well meaning as your post is, can’t you see that the post is an also an expression of your self-declared extroversion that is trying to clean up the introverts of their introversion, to save them from themselves. Here we see the extrovert, in some mystical and cleverly self-assured way (with basically no scriptural warrant for doing so), determining the place where the introvert needs to go to, to be. “We [extroverts] have to understand how the ways in which introverts can minister can benefit us all in the Church … [yet] … as an extrovert I must ask this of introverts: Meet us halfway! That is, despite all the good things they contribute, introverts need to change who they are and satisfy my expectation of who they should become, and do what I think you should do.

    Frankly Dan, I don’t think you have much of a clue of how introverts minister to the benefit of the Church. If you did then you wouldn’t be asking them to shift toward extroversion, to your alleged “half way” position. Far from being a defense of introverts (as you claim) this post actually condemns them for who and where they are. This is no surprise, for extroverts are never satisfied until they have the introverts under their control and doing as they want. As you say, “We’ll promise to tone down the frantic extroverted message we’re shilling if you’re willing to understand that community only works if you’re actively involved in the life of the church on all levels.”

    May I ask, also, WHO is involved in the Church on ALL levels. Are you serious? I may hazard a guess that maybe a Pastor could come near that, but I doubt even he could rise to the task. So, why do you think you have the right to require introverts to do the things for which they are manifestly not equipped to do, that you cannot do yourself ? Do you minister as introverts do in their way?

    If you really think introverts minister in a way that benefits the Church, then leave them to it. Do you think you should engage yourself in going about things as an introvert does? No? Then why ask them to fill your shoes. My hunch is that introverts have an appreciation of and involvement in the life of the community that goes way beyond the mechanics of programs and pronouncements, and the dictates of the “expert” extroverts who lord it over them.

    Dan, here are some things to consider:
    1) Don’t try and defend those of whom you know little nor understand intimately.
    2) Think about how it is the extroverted bullies that mess Churches up, and the people in it, as they push and shove “the little people” into safe little holes they have constructed for them.
    3) Realise that all you say and think and write comes from your extroverted self, and it may not translate well among those who are significantly different than you.
    4) Realise, above all, that God does his work even in the lives of introverts, and trying to drag them to be like yourself isn’t necessarily one of them.

    By all means, clean up your own act, but leave the introverts in God’s generous and gentle hands, to sort out as he wills. Maybe, just maybe, God is doing his thing in them and through them right where they are, and using their non-raging quietness in a manner that directing and controlling and demanding extroverts wouldn’t get a look-in for. Remember, too, there is nothing like a gentle and quiet spirit — it can soothe many a soul.

  12. Ronni

    Well, I’ve noticed one thing… all the introverts are back with me running the sound board…

    I have noticed alot of “come and go” among the “unknowns” and that is sad. Alot of time they are mega talented people and not asked to do anything, and eventually feel unwanted so they leave…

    So where do we go with it? I’m an extrovert with alot of introvert friends… and a few of them have thanked me for calling them and “bugging” them into doing something instead of just showing up… but its a matter of discerning where the line needs to be drawn with each individual.

    I just want my church for individuals instead of church for programs back.

  13. Poetpete,

    Obviously, I struck a nerve.

    I have known plenty of introverts in my life. (My small group is mostly composed of introverts, for instance.) Many are perfectly fine in their introversion, but others have a problem and need to reach out more than they do. Before you say I’m judging those people, let it be known that there are many extroverts who have exactly the opposite problem and need to tone it down.

    To the point of being involved in all aspects of the life of the Church, I meant that there is no point of service and ministry within the church that is naturally exclusive of introverts. Introverts can fill all roles. Their expression of ministry within that role will look different than an extroverts, but this is not the point. I’m not trying to save introverts, just noting that church is growing increasingly extroverted in its expression and that this may leave introverts out.

    Again, when I ask introverts to meet us halfway, I’m telling the extroverts they have to tone it down. Yes, I am asking some introverts to be a little more outgoing or involved in their churches. Like I mentioned in my comments, I believe that Jesus embodied the Perfect Man, and as such His psychological makeup was in balance. I don’t know if you agree with that (others have not), but I think that if Jesus had been totally an introvert or totally an extrovert, He would not have been the ideal model for us of how we should be or how God is.

    As an extrovert, I’m painfully aware that I needed to better the introverted nature inside me. I think that I have done that with the Lord’s working that out in me. Does that make introverts exempt? Can’t they become a little more extroverted without going over to the “dark side?”

    My call for meeting halfway does not negate introversion. Nor does it change my call for the American Church to be more sensitive to introverts.

    Pete, I’ve considered the things you wrote. I’ve messed up enough times with introverts that I’ve taken more time to understand them. And while I admit that there are extroverted bullies in the Church that push introverts into holes, there are also introverts who brought their hole with them and never want to crawl out of it. That’s not right, either. I also understand that because I am not an introvert that I will have a few blind areas when I write about introverts—but I’m not totally clueless. I have a pretty fair balance of extroverted and introverted friends. If I were a totally unsympathetic clod, I wouldn’t have any introverted friends at all—and that was pretty close to the way it was when I was in my twenties and teens.

    Lastly, I fully understand that God may use introverts and extroverts differently. I’m calling for that in my post. I chose to end the post the way I did because I’ve known some introverts who were not fully walking in all the Lord could do with them because they had descended too far into their introversion. And like I said before, I’ve seen the same thing in extroverts, so this is not to pick on introverts.

  14. Thanks Dan for your reply. You have clarified one or two things for me.

    Generally speaking, may I suggest that it is worthwhile not being so definitive in your posts. If you mean “some” then let it be said. And if there are some apart from other then I for one, as your reader, need to be able to appreciate that you appreciate the overall picture. Part of extroversion, I suppose, is a way of expression that seems for the most part global and non-descriminatory in that statements made can be catch-alls. Such statements can be unhelpful to all.

    As far as introverts bringing their holes with them… well, for starters, the comment made me laugh — it was an interesting concept for a poetically minded person to read, and conceptualise. It is easier to think of extroverts turning up with their pedestal under their arm (with claims of mine is bigger than yours!).

    But the issue is not me being humoured, rather the people and their holes. Many have such holes because they are the safe place to be and often where they have been shoved into (perhaps, even from the last Church they were at). The way to help them, if they need help and desire it, is to get down into the hole and show them the way out. That is one thing I don’t think an extrovert can do; they wouldn’t have a clue about what it really means to be down the hole, nor what it feels and looks like, nor they way out. It is the people who have suffered in a like manner that are the ones to help. 2 Cor 1 gives us some guidance in that regard.

    On Jesus… I really think your out on a dangerous limb there — some pseudo doctrine of Christ built on individual presumptions and modern psychological theory. You will realise, of course, that your post piviots around the claim of Christ’s concentricity of his ‘x’-troversion, or should I say his A-to-Z-troversion. Is it not possible that Jesus experienced (ie. lived out) ALL of what it means to be an introvert and ALL of what it means to be an extrovert, and all shades in between. To move around among those possibilities may represent the balance of Jesus’ psychological makeup that you speak about. Why it has to be centralised is a call from silence, as is any other assessment of his psychological makeup determined along modern theoretcal constructs. For me, because the nature of Jesus’ psycholgical make-up is such an ‘out-there’ concept and generally innacessible through the Scriptures I won’t be going there anytime soon. Hard enough understanding what I can read plainly than inventing a whole new realm of pop-doctrine to think through.

    Your call to the Church to consider introverts is well taken and should be heeded. The big issue is just HOW it will go about that. A call to meet half-way doesn’t cut it by a long shot, in my view, and is dangerous because of its self-assured prescriptive nature along extroverted lines. Furthermore, we are called to follow Christ in his OBEDIENCE, not in his alleged psycho-profile. Regardless of our make-up we are called to obey, and be concerned about that.

    Keep writing and I’ll keep reading and commenting, with one foot in my hole and the other out on an extrovert’s pedestal, provided they stay still long enough. But looks like I am in for a nasty groin injury in the meantime.

    Blessings; Peter.

  15. Anonymous

    Extroverts tend to “talk until they find the answer”. That’s bad in a church setting. Because along the way to truth, they’ll say an AWFUL LOT that’s just dead wrong.

    And preaching wrong doctrine is evil.

  16. Travis

    When we see that churches today are about 62/38 female to male with that ratio growing more disproportionate, could it have something to do with the fact that extroversion and feelings are hailed by the American Church of 2005 while introversion and thinking are dwindling away in the message?

    In my case, I was specifically told by a number of individuals in one church that introversion was a sin. (Of course, they were sure to frame it in a “this might not apply to you, but here’s what I’ve learned about myself” way… but they all broached the topic, so it was really a passive-agressive chastisement.) That, and it seems like every time I open up in a group setting, I’m more-or-less asked to be more careful about opening up in the future.

    I guess the main problem is that I’m weird by most people’s standards. The introversion comes out of the discomfort my weirdness produces; I’d rather just sit quietly in a corner and observe than make the group uncomfortable. =/

    But I think I’m slowly learning how to talk… you can’t be too honest; you’ve got to use the right lingo; if you’re going to try and exegete, you’d better have a good half-dozen theologians who’ve already come to the same conclusion (which isn’t really exegesis, is it?).

    Goodness, looking over the comments here (including my own) it sounds like there’s a lot of resentment among us introverts!

  17. Brian in Fresno

    Thanks for posting this Dan. I’ve learned to get myself to the half-way point to meet with you. Don’t be offended if I go back after the meeting though.

  18. Dana

    This is a fabulous post, not entirely because of the content per se, but more because its personal nature requires an opinion to be formed, and the opinion one could get from this post is almost always indicative of years of experience.

    What I love most about this post is the thoughtful comments that followed. Almost all of them that commented on the actual message of the post were concerned with one question: So how do we reach people? The focus of the Christian church should always be creating a mechanism by which all people may come closer to God. This includes every kind of person imaginable: clergy, unbelievers, introverts, extroverts, the talented performer, and the soft-spoken computer programmer. The grace of God was intended for every man.

    I think the tone of this post, to a certian extent, belittles the impact that an introvert can have on a church. After all, introverts often watch from the shadows and listen to people even when the people aren’t aware that they’re being heard. The observations of introverts can often be insightful, and the ability to listen is always priceless. True, all things in moderation, and a withdrawn personality is no exception. Hiding in the shadows is no help, but think of the very people you have listed in your post. These people who quietly pray and desire no praise for their fiercely silent and personal faith can be some of the most earth-shatteringly powerful people in the spiritual realm, and it is a poverty of spirit that would make the claim that they are less than anyone else for being different than ourselves.

    In fact, you have made mention in your previous posts (such as the one on classism) that the spirit of Christ requires us to acknowledge, love, and nurture those who are different from ourselves. I am by no means telling you that anything in your posts indicates that you push from yourself those who are introverted. Quite the contrary, in fact. What I am saying is that your tone and a few of your comments do point toward a concern of yours that a group of pathological introverts is developing and languishing in a church that often glorifies the extrovert.

    Well, what outreach forum doesn’t glorify the extrovert? In theatre, the names up in lights will always be the actors who perform. When was the last time we heard of a brilliant sound technician’s name being associated with a movie, rather than the director? There will always be people behind the scenes, quietly smoothing the path for those who “run” the show. They allow themselves the ability to smile smugly at times when everything goes exactly according to plan because of their abilities. Often, these people do not want the exalted positions or the public praise. Often, introverts are far more comfortable being the ones in the pews as extroverts raise their hands for the bible readings. Acknowledging them should be done in private, and praise for them is far more valuable when done personally.

    We are all on a path. We are all very different. That’s good, because ministry is done by all kinds of people. I completely reject the idea that Jesus as a perfect man means that his psychological makeup is what we need to emulate. After all, loving everyone means that we embrace their differences as well as their similarities. Psychological deviations from a pre-made template are not sins, and they’re not problems. They’re the differences that uniquely suit us to our ministry. We’re a church, not the borg. We are NOT in the business of assimilation or imitation. Jesus loves the person that you are, and character traits are not necessarily flaws. There will always be a niche for every person in the Kingdom of God. I propose that we fully utilise the people around us. If your gift is for drawing people out, send them to the people in shells. Not for rehabilitation, but to find for them a place that feels right for the person God made them to be. If your gift is for listening to people, you should find someone who needs to be heard as well as a forum to relay this information. It is the job of the entire body to ensure that the mechanism functions properly. Part of that mechanism is determining the best application of each of the parts. If we are one body, insisting that the digestive system do the same things as the vocal chords is ludicrous. They have completely different functions and were created uniquely for their tasks. If they are not functioning at the task for which they were designed, perhaps adjustment is required, but let’s remember that in the end, everyone’s case is individual, and grand sweeping statements tend to fly a little wide of the mark.

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