From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment
Mission with an Olive Agenda in Response to Global Empire
by Brian E. Konkol
“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” – Desmond Tutu
An anesthetic is a drug used to relieve pain (analgesia), relax (sedate), induce sleepiness (hypnosis), spark forgetfulness (amnesia), or to make one unconscious for general anesthesia. Among other things, anesthetics are generally administered by a specialist (anesthesiologist or anesthetist) upon a patient in order to induce or maintain a state of anesthesia and facilitate a procedure. With such thoughts in mind, Mission as Anesthetic can be employed as a striking image for particular deficiencies in Christian missionary activity throughout the world, for the history of global mission – in addition to its current state of affairs – is filled with examples where the Gospel is used to induce various forms of unconsciousness, thus opening a significant social space for those in power to more effectively perform geographic, political, economic, intellectual, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and religious procedures.
As a North American who has resided in the southern hemisphere since 2003, I find the metaphorical image of Mission as Anesthetic to be unfortunate, uncomfortable, accurate and convicting in regards to various global missionary enterprises, especially those that continue to hold paternalistic views of “giver/subject” and “receiver/object”. In striking similarity to Karl Marx’s often cited statement of religion as an opiate of the masses, Mission as Anesthetic seeks to diminish the pains of present life with an exclusive focus on the eternal life to come, but in no way does Mission as Anesthetic take the subsequent and essential steps of healing the root causes of suffering (through reconciliation), or provide tools for transformation and empowerment. As a result, it can be argued that Mission as Anesthetic is a valuable instrument of 21st century global Empire, for it offers pain relief, relaxation, sleepiness, forgetfulness, and unconsciousness, but it refuses to recognize and “operate on” the sources of affliction. In other words, Mission as Anesthetic hinders a full consciousness of reality, and thus limits the opportunities of local and global communities to explore, reflect, respond, and create new and life-giving experiences.
In order to offer an effective alternative to Mission as Anesthetic and other forms of incomplete and ineffective global missionary engagement, one is drawn toward the strong commitment of advocacy and “mutual conversion” expressed through Mission as Accompaniment. Among other things, Mission as Accompaniment takes into account the nature of God’s walking alongside humankind through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, thus the responsibility of participants in God’ s mission to accompany one another – strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit (Advocate) – in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality “for the conversion of connections”. In contrast to missionary ventures that promote a distant God, general lack of earthly consciousness, and one-sided activity, Mission as Accompaniment embodies an incarnational approach to missionary companionship, which leads to heightened levels of awareness on all sides of the encounter, and thus moves beyond the labels of “your experience” and “my experience” and embraces the realities of “our experience”. As a result, in addition to all that Mission as Anesthetic offers, Mission as Accompaniment goes beyond pain relief and seeks corrective operation (transformation), healing of core injuries (reconciliation), and rehabilitative strengthening for the future (empowerment). In other words, Mission as Accompaniment is concerned with life after death and life after birth, thus it requires mission practitioners from around the world to accompany one another for the purpose of engaging all systems and structures that seek to divide, conquer, and exploit.
With the above introductory thoughts in mind, the following sections will utilize a “See-Judge-Act” methodology to “See the Empire”, “Judge the Empire”, and “Act in Response to the Empire” in order to move From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment in God’s global mission. First, in order to See the Empire in the 21st Century, I will introduce the notion of Empire and then examine its valuable instrument, commonly known as Neoliberal Global Economics. In specifics, I will briefly show how this international financial structure produces ecological destruction, inequality, poverty, and due to its sources found in mechanistic dehumanization, thus stands in direct opposition to God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment. Second, in order to Judge the Empire from a theological viewpoint and missiological grounding, I will utilize Mission as Accompaniment as a corrective to Mission as Anesthetic and other deficient missionary ventures that refuse to oppose Neoliberal Global Economics and other forces that limit the quality and sustainability of livelihoods. Third, in order to Act in Response to the Empire, I will consider limitations within the present form of Mission as Accompaniment and thus propose the use of an Olive Agenda as a missiological trajectory that raises mutual consciousness, values life, and provides global mission companions with a focused “walking direction” in the search for a faithful and fruitful participation within God’s global mission.
See the Empire: Neoliberal Global Economics and the Impact upon Ecological Destruction, Inequality, and Poverty
While a variety of opinions exist as how to define the nature of Empire, for use in this paper I will utilize the following thoughts from Joerg Rieger as a foundation for examination:
Empire, in sum, has to do with mass concentrations of power that permeate all aspects of life and cannot be controlled by any one actor alone…Empire seeks to extend its control as far as possible; not only geographically, politically, and economically – these factors are commonly recognized – but also intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, culturally, and religiously… The problem with empire has to do with forms of top-down control that are established on the backs of the empire’s subjects and that do not allow those within its reach to pursue alternative purposes.
With these notions from Rieger in mind, one recognizes that evidence of Empire in the 21st century can be found in numerous places, but perhaps most strikingly within the expansion of Neoliberal Global Economics. While a full description of Neoliberal Global Economics is not intended here, one recognizes that it seeks to transfer control of the global economy from public to private sector under the belief that such a transition will produce a more efficient government and improve the economic health of all nations. However, Neoliberal Global Economics has led to massive consolidations of power, thus multinational enterprises – motivated by profit and mostly unaccountable to any electorate – use their strong financial influence to push governments into deregulation-orientated policies for the steady flow of products, currency, and factories. While such strategies have created tremendous financial wealth, the distribution of positive and negative consequences has been increasingly disproportionate, and the current world population of seven billion is mostly controlled by an overlap of 600 billionaires. All in all, the definition of Empire by Rieger is an accurate fit for Neoliberal Global Economics, for the few who benefit seek to extend their control, sustain massive influence, and ensure that the global community is trapped within the structure and denied of any opportunity for alternatives.
In regards to consequences of Empire, a variety of research has shown that Neoliberal Global Economics drives the Earth toward massive levels of ecological damage, to the point that mass production, over-consumption, and pursuits of unlimited growth have pushed the Earth past its natural resource capacity.  In addition to these alarming ecological realities, it is also argued that Neoliberal Global Economics creates massive inequality and poverty, to the level that billions of citizens suffer harsh consequences while others reap the rewards. As a result of these ongoing and steadily increasing challenges, one recognizes that Neoliberal Global Economics provides a worldwide Empire of “un-Economy” that is un-fair, creates a world that is both un-stable and un-sustainable, and leaves the far majority of global citizens totally un-satisfied.
While much has been written surrounding the ecological and economic consequences of Neoliberal Global Economics, a more holistic examination reveals that dehumanization is both a product and source of its existence and sustained influence in the 21st century. In specifics, mechanistic dehumanization – as described by Nick Haslam – reveals a mindset related to systemic processes – such as Neoliberal Global Economics – that strips others of life and dignity. As Haslam explains, mechanistic dehumanization involves:
…the objectifying denial of essentially human attributes to people toward whom the person feels psychologically distant and socially unrelated. It is often accompanied by indifference, a lack of empathy, an abstract and deindividuated view of others that indicates an implicit horizontal separation from self, and a tendency to explain the other’s behavior in nonintentional, causal terms.
With these thoughts from Haslam in mind, while one may correctly identify Neoliberal Global Economics as a systemic source of ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty, further investigation reveals that mechanistic dehumanization is a primary source and sustainer of Neoliberal Global Economics. In addition, one further recognizes the need to examine mechanistic dehumanization in relationship to Mission as Anesthetic and other deficiencies in global missionary engagement, for such can be a valuable starting point in order to move toward consciousness-building missiological trajectories that respond to Neoliberal Global Economics and other imperial mechanisms. In other words, what is worthy of attention is the reality that Neoliberal Global Economics – and other instruments of Empire – has similar roots and connections with Mission as Anesthetic, thus the vital need to develop global missionary ventures that resist the oppressive and seductive powers of Empire and more fully value the sacredness of life through participation in God’s mission.
Judge the Empire: Mission as Accompaniment
In light of the above mentioned connections between mechanistic dehumanization, Neoliberal Global Economics, ecological destruction, inequality, poverty, and deficient forms of global missionary engagement, Mission as Accompaniment is a valuable framework as international church companions seek innovative and respectful methods to accompany one another in God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment. As stated in “Global Mission in the 21st Century: A Vision of Evangelical Faithfulness in God’s Mission”, Mission as Accompaniment is:
…walking together in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality. The basis for this accompaniment, or what the New Testament calls koinonia, is found in the God-human relationship in which God accompanies us in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.
As a critique of past and present missionary practices, such as the aforementioned Mission as Anesthetic, and in response to God’s “walking-alongside” of humankind through Jesus Christ, Mission as Accompaniment builds upon previously held understandings and thrusts mission into a “relational mode”, for it implies “proximity to the walking companion” and “accepting the invitation to accompany the other”. In many ways, Mission as Accompaniment embodies various threads of Liberation Theology, and also falls under the more general theme of Postcolonial Mission due to its renegotiation of power between world church companions. All together, Mission as Accompaniment provides a significant contribution to contemporary missiological conceptions, and it also has the ability to address urgent social issues surrounding dehumanization, neoliberal global economics, and the impact upon ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty.
In regards to theological underpinnings, “accompaniment” derives from the Latin “ad cum panis” which translates as “to go with bread.” With such thoughts in mind, one engaged in Mission as Accompaniment walks alongside others “with bread”, or in other words, shares and receives the sustenance of life in relationship with God, humankind, and all that God has created. As Mission as Accompaniment finds its Biblical foundations in the Luke 24 “Road to Emmaus” account, one recognizes that Jesus was more fully recognized through the exchange of life-giving bread, and as a result the disciples received a greater sense of self-recognition, changed their pre-determined course, and returned to Jerusalem in order to participate in God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment. As a result, it can be argued that within and through the sharing and receiving of sustenance Jesus Christ is made known, divisions caused by greed are broken, the interconnectedness of humanity is realized, and communities – both local and global – are more fully restored to exist faithfully and fruitfully as God first intended.
With the above thoughts in mind, one of the primary ways that Mission as Accompaniment is a significant framework for addressing dehumanization is the theoretical and experiential recognition that power disparity increases the likelihood of dehumanization, and Mission as Accompaniment has been shown as a valuable corrective to power disparity. As highlighted earlier, Mission as Accompaniment involves mutual exchange and a revelation of common humanity through the appreciation of relationships and sharing of life-giving sustenance. Therefore, Mission as Accompaniment contributes towards a significant decrease of power disparity, thus a logical consequence is a decline in mechanistic dehumanization. While one recognizes the risk of over-simplification within such a sequence, the potential outcomes of Mission as Accompaniment are massive, for if the likelihood of dehumanization diminishes as a result of reduced power disparity, then opposition to Neoliberal Global Economics can increase, and thus a reduction of ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty. As has been shown throughout human history, the power of solidarity through interpersonal relationships is astonishing, thus the sociological potential of Mission as Accompaniment as a response to Empire is extraordinary.
While the aforementioned logic may produce criticism surrounding naïvity and over-confidence, one should not underestimate spiritual momentum and sociological domino-effect, thus Mission as Accompaniment does possess a strong potential to address Neoliberal Global Economics and other tools of international systematic oppression. However, it is also recognized that Mission as Accompaniment in its current form requires additional theoretical resources for a more focused approach in response to 21st century Empire. As a critique of Mission as Accompaniment is its lack of detailed focus surrounding specific global issues, a potential consequence is “walking together for the sole objective of walking together”, which can lead to “partnership without purpose” and no clear “walking direction”. Therefore, as global mission companionship is – at its core – intended to build righteous relationships, exchange hospitality, restore community, and generate outcomes that cannot be produced in isolation, while Mission as Accompaniment addresses power imbalance through a relational approach that impacts dehumanization, it requires a more specific focus that can be applied directly to the Neoliberal Global Economics.
Act in Response to the Empire: Mission as Accompaniment with an Olive Agenda
In order to provide a more firm and attentive walking direction for Mission as Accompaniment in response to Neoliberal Global Economics, the work of Steve de Gruchy in “An Olive Agenda: First Thoughts on a Metaphorical Theology of Development” is of great importance, for he provides a significant contribution toward the pursuit of resistance and alternatives to various expressions of 21st century Empire. For example, de Gruchy offers a theological metaphor – the olive – that transcends the duality between the “green” environmental agenda and “brown” poverty agenda “that has disabled development discourse for the past twenty years”. As a result, an Olive Agenda provides a “remarkably rich metaphor” that “holds together that which religious and political discourse rends apart: earth, land, climate, labor, time, family, food, nutrition, health, hunger, poverty, power and violence”. Therefore, while an Olive Agenda in its present form already adds to the wealth of theological research on ecology and poverty, it has yet to be developed and applied fully as a missiological trajectory, thus a tremendous opportunity emerges for one to connect an Olive Agenda with Mission as Accompaniment in order to more fully respond to that which stands in direct opposition to God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment: Neoliberal Global Economics and its direct impact upon ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty.
An Olive Agenda is rooted in the understanding that although Neoliberal Global Economics – called the “Big Economy” by Larry Rasmussen – has provided a number of contributions to modern life, its flawed logic of mass production, over-consumption, and unlimited growth works against “the Great Economy”, a term from Wendell Berry. In other words:
Economic production and consumption, as well as human reproduction, are unsustainable when they no longer fall within the borders of nature’s regeneration. So the Bottom Line below the Bottom Line is that if we don’t recognize that the laws of economics and the laws of ecology are finally the same laws, we are in deep doodoo. Eco/nomics is the only way possible.
With these thoughts in mind, it is evident from contemporary political, religious, and developmental discourse that many place issues of economics and ecology in separate (and competitive) categories, to the point that an emphasis upon one is widely regarded as a betrayal of the other. While past civilizations have long recognized the need to build economic lives in faithful relationship to ecological boundaries, the recent phenomenon of Neoliberal Global Economics has proven to be unfaithful within this important economical/ecological union, and the result is growing levels of gross inequality, increases in poverty, and an Earth that can no longer endure its industrial punishment. However, regardless of the countless negative consequences of Neoliberal Global Economics, its well-funded proponents continue to spread myths of universal benefits, thus leaving a trail of misplaced faith in trickle-down economics and false choices between poverty reduction and ecological health. As a result, an Olive Agenda is a much-needed response to the influential proponents of Neoliberal Global Economics, for an Olive Agenda exposes the propaganda of the financially powerful, it moves beyond competition between the brown and green agendas, and as a result produces global companionships that seek to create ecological sustainability while also reducing poverty and inequality throughout the world.
In response to these aforementioned contemporary realities, there are ten ways that an Olive Agenda can function as a missiological trajectory: 1) As a color, Olive integrates both brown (poverty) and green (ecology) agendas, 2) As a texture, the Olive draws us to our earthly context, 3) The Olive points us toward issues of food security, 4) The Olive branch is a symbol of peace, 5) The Olive draws us into a plurality of cultures and religions, 6) As a tree, the Olive points to life itself, 7) The Olive tree symbolizes inter-generational sustainability, 8) The Olive is rooted in popular struggles, 9) Olive oil contributes to health, and 10) The Olive is a Biblical symbol. All together, as a result of these ten points, in addition to previous mentioned insights, one can immediately recognize the massive prospects of developing an Olive Agenda further, especially in relationship to Mission as Accompaniment, as the combination of these concepts provides unity, diversity, and a firm walking direction for global missionary companions to participate in God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment. In other words, while Mission as Accompaniment encourages companions to walk together in a solidarity that practices mutuality, an Olive Agenda provides visible signposts and a more clear walking direction.
In terms of theological foundations for an Olive Agenda, de Gruchy considers “oikos”, the “household of God”, as a primary underpinning. As ecology (oikos-logos) concerns the wisdom of how a home functions, economy (oikos-nomos) is about the rules that should govern the home, and because there is only one “home” for humankind (the earth), economy and ecology are thus both intimately concerned about the earth, about the way human beings live upon the earth, relate to the earth, make use of the earth’s resources, and respect the integrity of the earth. Therefore, the missiological implication of these theological affirmations is that while both brown and green agendas are “fundamentally right, taken in isolation each is tragically wrong – and thus we must integrate economy as oikos-nomos, and ecology as oikos-logos in search of sustainable life on earth, the oikos that is our only home.” As stated by the Diakonia Council of Churches:
This earth that God created, this sphere that spins through space, this globe, the household in which humanity lives and seeks meaning, our only home – this must be the place where we start to think theologically about economics...For millions of years God has shepherded the earth into existence so that it can sustain life. To do so requires a delicate balance between human life and other life; between life, death and rebirth; between production, consumption and waste; between the needs of the current generation and the needs of the many generations still to come; and between our creative ability to shape and reshape nature, and our sinful desire to do so for selfish ends.
In recognition of the responsibility that God has placed upon humankind to serve as stewards of creation, and with full awareness of our consistent inability to fulfil this role properly, a choice between economic and ecological health is no choice at all, and a continued failure to integrate the brown and green agendas into an Olive Agenda will result in continued ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty. Therefore, in recognition of the theological foundations of oikos-nomos and oikos-logos, one may rightly conclude that Neoliberal Global Economics stands in direct opposition to the wisdom and rules of God’s household, thus God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment calls for an accompaniment of God’s people that produces economic alternatives and promotes fullness of life – for all that God has created – throughout the world.
From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment
To move From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment, as the title of this paper suggests, one first recognizes that economics and ecology are matters of faith, for they touch the very core of God’s will for humankind and all of creation. In contrast to those who perceive the Gospel solely as a retreat or escape from the world, God’s mission includes a call for humankind to engage with and through the world, not only to provide short-term charity, but to work for justice and the promotion of long-term peace and equality. As stated by the Lutheran World Federation:
...the biblical witness is clear: God consistently opposes and calls for change in practices and structures that are unjust, especially in their effect on the poorest. When assumptions, dynamics, and outcomes of economic globalization go against what God intends, this becomes a matter of faith. We must name, reflect on, and seek effective ways of responding to the challenges raised by economic globalization — if we really believe what we profess.
As a result of these insights, one notes that a move From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment in God’s mission challenges a variety of cross-sections within the worldwide Christian community: 1) Those who have knowingly and intentionally manipulated the Gospel to exploit others for material benefit; 2) Those who do not feel their faith bears on economical and ecological issues; 3) Those who consider Neoliberal Global Economics to be far too overwhelming; 4) Those who oppose with words alone, yet continue to benefit from the fruits of the system, thus lack an urgency to act. All together, a move From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment motivates people of faith toward prophetic words and bold actions, and reveals that there is no such thing as neutrality in the context of such momentous challenges. All together, a movement From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment allows for people of faith to more fully participate in God’s mission, confess who God is, and witness to how God is alive and active in the world today.
In addition to the call to action that a movement From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment provides, through the above See-Judge-Act methodology one also recognizes that traditional lines between object and subject within these missionary activities are significantly blurred. For example, while the application of anesthetics and participation within advocacy are typically seen as something one does to and/or for another, Mission as Accompaniment reveals that both anesthetics and advocacy are done in mutuality, thus all within the relationship are simultaneously objects and subjects. In other words, those who seek to dull the full consciousness of others are, as a result, less aware of their own reality, separated from community, and in their attempt to dehumanize others are themselves not fully who God created them to be. In a similar fashion, those who walk in solidarity with others for the common good are, in turn, recipients of advocacy from others, engaged as participants in God’s mission, and thus more fully what God has created humankind to be. These thoughts surrounding connectedness and interdependence of humanity are reminiscent of statements from Martin Luther King Jr. in Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality.
With these thoughts from King in mind, one recognizes that Mission as Accompaniment embraces the “network of mutuality” and “single garment of destiny”, thus it stands in direct opposition to any force that seeks to divide, conquer, and exploit. As a result, due to the reality that Neoliberal Global Economics increases inequality, spreads poverty, and distributes ecological destruction, Mission as Accompaniment recognizes that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, and the dehumanization of anyone dehumanizes everyone. Therefore, the walking together that Mission as Accompaniment offers is a counter to movements that place material wealth above human dignity, it reduces the divisions that unjust systems maintain, and in turn responds against the structures that seek to reduce the fullness of life that God intends for humankind and all of Creation.
While the power and influence of Neoliberal Global Economics remains strong, the growing amount of discourse and activism (both public and hidden) surrounding such topics is significant, for it reveals the increasing “blowback” against Empire, and as a result shows that people on the receiving end of oppression are not as “unconscious” as the oppressors have long believed. While Mission as Anesthetic attempts to reduce the earthly consciousness of others, the effort has proven to be unsuccessful, and in many ways an opposite impact has taken place, for those in positions of power have proven to be unconscious of the growing resistance that has developed around the world. As a result, Mission as Accompaniment is part of a larger movement where the hidden resistance to Empire is gradually becoming more public, and those who seek to anesthetize others are quickly recognizing that no amount of anesthetic will dull the pains of ecological destruction, inequality, and poverty.
With all the above sections in mind, what this paper has shown is that Neoliberal Global Economics is a valuable tool of 21st century Empire, for the international economic system seeks to “consolidate mass concentrations of power that permeate all aspects of life”, form “top-down control” on “the backs of empire’s subjects” and deny the pursuit of “alternative purposes.” In addition, one recognizes that mechanistic dehumanization is a core source of Neoliberal Global Economics and Mission as Anesthetic, for the denial of humanity within others leads to a rationalization of apathy and disparity. As a result, because dehumanization increases in relationship to power imbalance, Mission as Accompaniment provides a significant response, for it directly counters the indifference and horizontal separation of mechanistic dehumanization through a commitment to “walking together in mutuality and solidarity” that distributes power on a more balanced scale. However, as highlighted previously, in order to provide a more focused walking direction and address the primary contextual concerns of 21st century globalization, an Olive Agenda is needed within Mission as Accompaniment, for such a trajectory allows for the green agenda of ecology and brown agenda of poverty to join for a more faithful and fruitful participation in God’s mission of reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment.
As highlighted in various sections of this paper, the consequences of Neoliberal Global Economics are extreme, thus an increased level of urgency for more faithful interactions between creation and humankind. In addition, one recognizes a similar swell of need to move far beyond Mission as Anesthetic and other deficient forms of missionary engagement that depletes worldly consciousness. As the Christian tradition “includes safeguards designed to prevent and correct the accumulation of unjust power and the misuse and abuse of creation”, the time has come to challenge the tight grip and idolatrous myths of Empire, and thus support resistance and alternatives that seek global economies of life. As a commitment to participate in God’s mission recognizes and values the interconnectedness of all God has created, the relationship between humanity and the Earth must be evaluated, the responsibility of being God’s stewards of the Earth is to be examined, and the accountability that humankind has to God, the Earth, and one another is to be fully valued and restored. The result of this process, a movement From Anesthetic to Advocate through Accompaniment in God’s Mission, will embody an Olive Agenda and more faithfully represent who God is, what God does, and who God’s people are called to be.
 Brian E. Konkol is an Ordained Minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Country Coordinator for its Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program in Southern Africa alongside the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA), and PhD candidate with the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Theology and Development Program. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Steven Gish, Desmond Tutu: A Biography (Westport, CT: Greenwood: 2004), pg. 101. It must be noted that other variations of this quotation exist, which are not original to Desmond Tutu. In light of thoughts surrounding the notion of Mission as Anesthetic in regards to deficiencies in missionary engagement, one finds the image of “closing our eyes” within the Tutu quotation to be especially striking.
 WebMD, “Topic Overview: Intravenous Anesthetic” (January, 2010), http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/intravenous-iv-anesthetics-topic-overview
 As far as I am aware, Mission as Anesthetic as an image of missionary engagement is original to this paper. If I am mistaken, my apologies are extended to those who deserve credit for its usage.
 While the term “global mission” is problematic for some, in this paper it is not meant as “the faithful replication of Christian forms and patterns developed in Europe”, as Lamin Sanneh defines it. As a result, the terms “global” and “world” in regards to Christian mission will be utilized interchangeably throughout this paper, and will signify the contextual developments and expressions of Christian faith in various areas throughout the world. See: Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), pg. 22.
 Joerg Rieger, Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), pg. 2-3.
 Guyana, South America (2003-2004, 2005-2007), South Africa (2008-present).
 While this paper will not elaborate upon my personal history as a North American residing in the southern hemisphere, it must be noted that I recognize my position of power as a citizen of global Empire, and one who continues to benefit as a result of unjust imperial structures, especially those promoted by the United States of America. In addition, as a male, white, missionary pastor, I also recognize that ventures in global mission can be extensions of Empire (…as this paper will show), thus as a result of my own various and countless mistakes, I choose to speak and write with boldness yet also listen and learn with repentance and humility.
 Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pg. 127.
 At various points in this paper I will speak of God’s mission as “reconciliation, transformation, and empowerment”, which is directly related to (but in different sequential order) to that which was produced by the Lutheran World Federation’s Department for Mission and Development. See: Lutheran World Federation: Department for Mission and Development, Mission in Context: Transformation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment (Geneva, Switzerland: Lutheran World Federation, 2004).
 As many definitions of “empire” exist, for this paper I will utilize Joerg Riegers’ thoughts from Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2007), pg. 2-3: “Empire, in sum, has to do with mass concentrations of power that permeate all aspects of life and cannot be controlled by any one actor alone…Empire seeks to extend its control as far as possible; not only geographically, politically, and economically – these factors are commonly recognized – but also intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, culturally, and religiously… The problem with empire has to do with forms of top-down control that are established on the backs of the empire’s subjects and that do not allow those within its reach to pursue alternative purposes.”
 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Mission in the 21st Century: A Vision of Evangelical Faithfulness in God’s Mission, (Chicago: ELCA, 1999).
 Brian E. Konkol, Mission Possible? Power, Truth-Telling, and the Pursuit of Mission as Accompaniment, (Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2011), pg. 146.
 Rafael Malpica Padilla, Accompaniment: A Lens and Methodology for Mission Today, (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Global-Mission/How-We-Work.aspx.
 In recognition of the anesthetic metaphor, it should be recognized that anesthetics can provide a useful function (…as anyone who has endured a painful surgery can attest), yet anesthetics are a step within a larger process, and thus should not be perceived as an end unto themselves. As a result, the same can be said within the comparison of Mission as Anesthetic and Mission as Accompaniment.
 Gerald West, The Academy of the Poor: Towards a Dialogical Reading of the Bible (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publication, 2004).
 Joerg Rieger, Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), pg. 2-3.
 The definitive statement on neoliberal policies is often regarded as the “Washington Consensus”. See: John Williamson, “What Washington Means by Policy Reform”, in John Williamson (Ed.), Latin American Adjustment: How Much Has Happened? (Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 1990).
 Joseph Nathan Cohen, The Impact of Neoliberalism, Political Institutions and Financial Autonomy on Economic Development, (Unpublished Thesis, Princeton University: Princeton, NJ: 2007).
 Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, and The Institute for Policy Studies, Field Guide to the Global Economy, (New York: The New Press, 2005), pg. 1.
 The US government is often regarded as the main force behind the adoption of neoliberal policies throughout the world. The basic argument is that since the US dollar is the international reserve currency, US banks are at a competitive advantage in comparison to non-US banks, which cannot directly lend in dollars, so that their operations involve more foreign exchange risk. (Since the US dollar is the international exchange currency, most international reserves are held as dollars, and because the prices of commodities are set in dollars, it is in generally less risky to hold dollars than to hold other currencies). Thus, once the US adopted neoliberalism, other countries were forced to follow. See: Peter Gowan, The Global Gamble: Washington’s Faustian Bid for World Dominance (London: Verso, 1999).
 James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Lester R. Brown, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006); Kristen Dow and Thomas E. Downing, An Atlas of Climate Change (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (New York: Viking Press, 2007); John T. Houghton, Global Warming: 3rd Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010).
 R.K. Pachauri and A. Reisinger (Editors) Contribution of Working Groups I, II, and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (Geneva, Switzerland: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007); Naomi Oreskes, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science 306, no. 5702 (December 2004); William R.L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 (June 2010); The United Nations Millennium Ecosystems Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2005).
 Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (London: Routledge, 2009); Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis L. Meadows, The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (New York: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004); Paul Gilding, The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2011); Gwynee Dyer, Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats (London: Oneworld, 2011); Richard Heinberg, The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality (Gabriola Island, British Colombia: New Society Publishers, 2011).
 Jim Wallis, The “Un-Economy”, God’s Politics Blog, October, 2011: http://blog.sojo.net/blogs/2011/10/20/un-economy
 World Council of Churches, “the Dar es Salaam Statement on Linking Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology in Africa”, Alternative Globalisation Addressing People and Earth (AGAPE) Consultation on Liking Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology: Africa Ecumenical Perspectives (November 7-9, 2007: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania); Lutheran World Federation, “Communion, Responsibility, Accountability: Responding as a Lutheran Communion to Neoliberal Globalization”(Geneva: December, 2004); United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy”, (Washington DC, 1986).
 Nick Haslam, “Dehumanization: An Integrative View”, Personality and Social Psychology Review, (2006, Vol. 10, No. 3.).
 Nick Haslam, “Dehumanization: An Integrative View”, Personality and Social Psychology Review, (2006, Vol. 10, No. 3.), pg. 262.
 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Mission in the 21st Century: A Vision of Evangelical Faithfulness in God’s Mission, (Chicago: ELCA, 1999), pg. 5.
 Roberto S. Goizueta, Caminemos con Jesus: Toward a Hispanic/Latino Theology of Accompaniment (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis, 1993); Jerry Aaker, Partners with the Poor: An Emerging Approach to Relief and Development, (New York: Friendship Press, 1993)
 Rafael Malpica Padilla, “Accompaniment as an Alternative Model for the Practice of Mission”. Trinity Seminary Review: Summer/Fall 2008. Volume 29, No: 2. Trinity Lutheran Seminary: Columbus, Ohio. Pg. 88
 Brian E. Konkol, Mission Possible? Power, Truth-Telling, and the Pursuit of Mission as Accompaniment, (Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2011), pg. 30.
 Desmond van der Water (Editor), Postcolonial Mission: Power and Partnership in World Christianity, (California: Sopher Press, 2011).
 Samuel Chingondole and Crystal Hall, (2009) “Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Social Awareness: Statement of Theological Intent”, unpublished document presented to Annual General Meeting, Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Social Awareness, 2009, pg 6-7.
 See: Carlos A. Dreher, The Walk to Emmaus. Translated by Paulo Ueti Barasioli. (Con-Texto Grafica e Editor, Centro de Estudos Biblicos, 2004).
 Joris Lammers and Diederik A. Stapel, “Power increases Dehumanization”, Group Processes Intergroup Relations (January, 2010, Vol 14, No. 1), pg. 113-126.
 Brian E. Konkol, Mission Possible? Power, Truth-Telling, and the Pursuit of Mission as Accompaniment, (Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2011).
 Among others, Bartolome de Las Casas and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are examples of people who took relationships seriously, and through accompaniment, countered Empire in their day. See: Joerg Rieger, Globalization and Theology (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010), pg. 21-26.
 Roderick Hewitt, Response to Brian E. Konkol “Mission Possible? Power, Truth-Telling, and the Pursuit of Mission as Accompaniment” (Unpublished Document provided in concurrence with the Theology & Development program process of academic review, Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2011). What is worthy of study at a later date is how “partnership with no purpose” can, in and of itself, also be a form of Mission as Anesthetic, for it gives the impression that partnership is enough, rather that how the partners function and exist in relationship to one another.
 I am reminded of a common proverb heard throughout my time with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (2003-2004, 2005-2007): “Many hands make the work light”.
 Steve de Gruchy, “An Olive Agenda: First Thoughts on a Metaphorical Theology of Development”, The Ecumenical Review: Volume 59, Issue 2-3 (April-July, 2007), pg. 333-345.
 Steve de Gruchy, “An Olive Agenda”, pg. 336.
 Steve de Gruchy, “An Olive Agenda”, pg. 336.
 Larry Rasmussen, Earth Community, Earth Ethics, (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).
 Wendell Berry & Norman Wirzba, The Art of Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (Washington, DC: Shoemaker and Hoard, 2002), pg. 219-235.
 Larry Rasmussen, Earth Community, Earth Ethics, (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996), pg. 112. The use of the term “Bottom Line” is borrowed from Thomas Berry, and “eco/nomics” from William Ashworth.
 The recently completed 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Convention of Climate Change (UNCCC) in Durban, South Africa, is a striking example of how powerful governments continue to spread the message of separation between economic and ecological health.
 Diakonia Council of Churches, Oikos Journey, (Durban, South Africa), pg. 16. Available at: http://www.diakonia.org.za/dmdocuments/OikosA5e.pdf
 Steve de Gruchy, “An Olive Agenda”, pg. 340-343.
 For further study, see: Andrew Warmback, Constructing an oikotheology: the environment, poverty and the church in South Africa, (Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa).
 Steve de Gruchy, “An Olive Agenda”, pg. 337.
 Diakonia Council of Churches, Oikos Journey, (Durban, South Africa), pg. 24. Available at: http://www.diakonia.org.za/dmdocuments/OikosA5e.pdf
 Diakonia Council of Churches, Oikos Journey, (Durban, South Africa), pg. 23. Available at: http://www.diakonia.org.za/dmdocuments/OikosA5e.pdf
 Lutheran World Federation, Engaging Economic Globalization as a Communion: A working paper of the Lutheran World Federation, (Geneva: Department for Theology and Studies, 2001).
 While this paper does not elaborate in-depth surrounding issues of companionship/partnership in global mission, Mission as Accompaniment is – at its core – about such matters. For a thorough examination of partnership in global mission, see: Jonathan Barnes, Partnership in Christian Mission: A History of the Protestant Missionary Movement, (Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal: South Africa, 2010).
 “Individuals manifesting qualities of individualism and selfishness, or lack of caring...are described as akanabuntu (lacking Ubuntu) or akangomntu, ha se motho (not a person, not human)”. Munyaka and Mokgethi Motlhabi, “Ubuntu and its Socio-moral Significance” in Munyaradzi Felix Murove (Ed.), African Ethics: An Anthology of Comparative and Applied Ethics (Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009), pg. 71.
 “The value and dignity of persons is best realized in relationship with others. One cannot be a human being alone, only in community”. Munyaka and Mokgethi Motlhabi, “Ubuntu and its Socio-moral Significance” in Munyaradzi Felix Murove (Ed.), African Ethics: An Anthology of Comparative and Applied Ethics (Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009), pg. 68. While the connection of Ubuntu to Mission as Accompaniment and an Olive Agenda is not illustrated here in detail, it will be explored further within my ongoing PhD research with the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Theology and Development program.
 Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, (New York: HarperCollins, 1994).
 Joerg Rieger, Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2007), pg. 2.
 For further study in regards to everyday forms of hidden resistance (that are often unnoticed by those in power), see the following texts from James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990), Weapons of the Weak: Everyday forms of Peasant Resistance, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986).
 Joerg Rieger, Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), pg. 2-3.
 Nick Haslam, “Dehumanization: An Integrative View”, Personality and Social Psychology Review, (2006, Vol. 10, No. 3.), pg. 262.
 Diakonia Council of Churches, Oikos Journey, (Durban, South Africa), pg. 27. Available at: http://www.diakonia.org.za/dmdocuments/OikosA5e.pdf
 Diakonia Council of Churches, Oikos Journey, (Durban, South Africa), pg. 28. Available at: http://www.diakonia.org.za/dmdocuments/OikosA5e.pdf
 While this paper does not explore the nature of idolatry within Empire, such is an important area of focus: “The neoliberal deregulation of the capitalist market at all levels, driven by an unbridled lust for money and control, turns the market into an idol...We are seriously worried that rich countries are more and more inclined to use military force to impose the neoliberal economic system in the world, playing a divine Caesar...We believe that neoliberal ideology violates the will of God, the creator of the garden of life.” Latin American Council of Churches, Faith Stance on the Global Crisis of Life (Buenos Aires, April 26, 2003).
 As this paper focuses more upon missiological foundations, and thus does not provide detailed policy alternatives to Neoliberal Global Economics, one is encouraged to view: Lutheran World Federation, Engaging Economic Globalization as a Communion: A working paper of the Lutheran World Federation, (Geneva: The Church and Social Issues, Department for Theology and Studies, 2001), pg. 11.