Digestive System

I have begun a new series called Organic Church Systems. I have seen the desire for brothers and sisters to reconcile the idea of being removed from institutional systems of religion, yet have some sort of leadership or authority. This has been a rather large issue in some of the Organic Church circles I have been connected with.

If you want to read the intro to the series, it is here. My friend and brother in Christ, Burton Brooks, M.D., will be keeping me straight with the medical side of things throughout this series.

The system to be discussed in this post is the Digestive System. Here are some more spiritual revelations about Spiritual Truth and Spiritual Reality.

The basics of the Internal Digestion System of humans:

Ingestion
Mechanical and Chemical Breakdown
Absorption
Egestion (Excretion)

Ingestion

This is a basic aspect of the digestion system. Consuming something to be used for nutritional value is the idea. The reason something is ingested is because the brain has been attracted by some sort of stimulus that showed nutritional value from that stimuli. And the body then put that nutrition into the oral cavity.

Mechanical and Chemical Breakdown

It’s part of digestion is a little more developed. In the oral cavity the salivary glands begin their work. There are enzymes released in the oral cavity that begin to digest what has been ingested.

The tongue moves the food around as the teeth rip and shred the nutrition to be able to be broken down chemically later to draw out the proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It’s is called mastication. The nutrition passes through the pharynx, food and air valve, and then goes into the esophagus. The esophagus is the first of many muscles that help force the food into the stomach.

In the stomach, there is some mechanical processes happening and some chemical processes going on as well. There are nutrients being extracted from the nutrition that have been consumed and the nutrition continues to be disassembled. There are gastric glands that get involved by releasing enzymes and acids into the stomach to aid in digestion. If what has been consumed is liquid, it can begin to be absorbed through the stomach directly into the circulatory system.

What’s left is called chyme and passes through the pyloric valve into the duodenum. The pylorus acts as a gate keeper. If the chyme is ready, it will let it through. Liquid goes through quickly at this stage. If it is still needing a little more breaking down, the pyloric valve makes the food go back into the stomach.

Absorption

The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine, then jejunum, then ileum. In the small intestines, there is major digestion going on and major Absorption. There is villi with micro villi lining the walls of the small intestine that takes digested particles to the liver to filter toxins and take nutrients to be used by the body. Also, the small intestine has three different liquids that enter in from other sources that help in breaking down fats and neutralizing acids. As the matter now finishes its time in the small intestine, it passes into the large intestine.

The large intestine doesn’t absorb too much, but does take in some water from the remaining chyme in the colon. The remaining particles, mostly dietary fiber, combine with other waste particles and are stored as feces in the rectum until the final phase of the digestive system. Egestion, or excretion.

Egestion

After a period of time, the muscles of the colon conjunction with the anus, release feces and egestion occurs.

Ok, that’s the digestive system in the human body. Of course a little gross, but factual information, nonetheless. You may be asking, “How in the world does that have anything to do with the Body of Christ,.”

A lot.

Ingestion in the Body of Christ

There is Divine Nutrition all around us. As the Body is attracted to Christ as our food, we look to receive that nutrition. We begin to consume Christ and the Organic System of Digestion begins. All of us are able to function as different parts of the Body at different times. We are not disallowed to provide food for ingestion because that isn’t our function!

EVERYONE is able to bring food to the Body of Christ. Let’s get to digesting Christ!

There are those in the Body who function as salivary glands. They begin to break down and digest the food for the rest of the Body immediately as Christ is received.

Mechanical and Chemical Breakdown in the Body of Christ

There are those who function as the tongue, who move around the food to those who are able to crunch, rip, and shred the food who is Christ.

Perhaps someone got a word from the Lord and brought it to the Body. They didn’t necessarily know what it meant, but they shared it with the Body and allowed their brothers and sisters to process the Life that was in the inspiration or word from the Lord. These brothers and sisters could be seen as functioning as tongues. The processing brothers and sisters could be seen as teeth.

There is then the passageway of the pharynx. These brothers and sisters function as those who channel nutrition for digestion and breath for our lungs. They perceive of things in ways that bring clarity to the Body and purpose for the word or inspiration from the Lord.

Then there’s the esophagus in the Body of Christ. In nature, food passes through the esophagus very quickly and goes to the stomach. In the Body of Christ, the brothers and sister who receive nutrition and move quickly with Christ as food could be seen as the esophagus. They are ready to digest and consume what has be given to the Body as food.

There are brothers and sister that function as the stomach. They churn and grind the food. These brothers and sister may need to process things for a time, but are doing so for the greater good of the Body. They are extracting what is of nutritional value and what is of waste or just dietary fiber. In the Body of Christ, it is important to have dietary fiber, isn’t it? It aids in digestion, right?

If Living Water is consumed, that is able to be absorbed immediately into the circulatory or cardiovascular system. Immediate nutrition for the Body.

The Bread of Life, it takes a little more processing. It is passed through those brothers and sister who function as the pyloric valve. They are the gate keepers for the Body of Christ in the Organic System of Digestion. If this nutrition is good and ready for the Body to process, the pyloric valve welcomes this nutrition to the next stage of digestion. If it is not ready, those functioning as gatekeepers will put that nutrition back into the stomach to be grinded and churned a little more.

If it is not of nutritional value or it is something that doesn’t “sit well” with the Body of Christ, vomit happens. All of these functioning members of the Body regurgitate or vomit this false nutrition out. If the Body of Christ you are a part of vomits what may look like nutrition, remember, they are functioning in a way to protect the Body of Christ and be sure that proper nutrition is given to the Body.

Absorption in the Body of Christ

A beautiful picture of a functioning member of the Body of Christ in the Digestive System, that happens organically and involuntarily from the conscious person, is the duodenum. Here there is functioning villi and functioning micro villi. As they function, nutrition is absorbed into vessels to be used as energy or nutrition for the Body.

I have seen Absorption happen in the Body of Christ. It is a beautiful thing!

There are brothers and sister who recollect all the particles that are not of nutritional value or are waste or are just dietary fiber and package it for release. They name it what it is. They do not try to process this non-nutrition anymore.

Egestion in the Body of Christ

This process is necessary in every Body. The release of waste that has no nutritional value to the Body and the release of dietary fiber is very important to the Body of Christ.

Waste in egestion is a pretty easy thing to see. However, I would like to draw your attention to dietary fiber.

Diets high in fiber provide the Body with significant intestinal gas production. The Body gets bloated. Does that sound like anything you have been a part of as a member of the Body of Christ?

Diets high in fiber that are consumed with insufficient Living Water provide constipation.

These are very interesting parallels for those of us who are pursuing Organic Church Life.

If what we consume is of not much nutritional value, we express a lot of hot air and gas. We get bloated and uncomfortable because of what is going on inside the Body.

If we don’t feed with a drink of Living Water, we reduce the flow of our digestive system. We create a blockage.

Final Thoughts

May we all function in the Organic Church System of Digestion. May we understand how the Lord has gifted us to function in this system. And may we function well, providing proper Nutrition to the Body and removing waste and dietary fiber from our Body.

 

5 comments

  1. Trevor Honeycutt · January 16, 2013

    The digestive system as an analogy is one of my favorites. We can see the “hunger” for “nothing but Christ” in many of our pursuit of healthy living; vegan, organic, exercise, etc. And this is good, as long as it’s not obssessive. “Exercise profits a little, but godliness profits for all things”.

    But as hard as we try, until the Lord restroes all of His creation, the reality is that we livie in a poluted world. Thank you Jesus for a digestive system! If we’ll put a few basic healthy habits in place, then we can trust the digestive system to take care of the rest!

    That also removes the “pressure” from the bros/sis feeling we have to have “doctrinally perfect” things to share, and or from nit-picking each other’s perspectives. We just need to each do our best to make sure that the “meal” is fully baked, and then serve it up; and the Body will digest accordingly.

  2. stephenmayer · January 27, 2013

    Great word, brother. I hadn’t quite considered the physical body’s digestive system and its parallel in the body of Christ. I’ve been learning a lot about the human body lately, how the immune system works, types of foods that are better for you … it is a fantastic and incredible expression of the organic functioning body of Christ in so many ways. I can’t wait to read the next article!

    • marklchampion · February 14, 2013

      Thanks for reading, Stephen. I appreciate your comments. More to come!

  3. Pingback: Organic Systems « marklchampion
  4. Pingback: Top 5 from 2013 | marklchampion

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