Mar Milithios calls for major revitalisation of approach towards dealing with children

Written By: on Oct 11th, 2010 and filed under Columns, Features, Opinions.

The metropolitan also mentions about the presence of an element of uncertainty and lack of clarity when mentioning about neti. But that will place the matter on the rail of dynamic momentum by evoking awe and at the same time openness and curiosity. This, he says, also justifies our understanding of God’s kingdom as a ‘small seed that falls on the ground and grows to fullness to accommodate all kinds of living creatures’ (Luke 13:19). This is the process of becoming a community, a community of God.
Children unable to accept the kind of authority that governed the society until the present should be introduced to the authority of love, which is not really an authority at all. This shall decide the shape of the community of God. They need to be told that the society is going to be one of participatory and not dominating and their participation is going to make parents and others richer in understanding.
He says that our task is to work out general ideals guided by the importance of healthy and sustainable community, of individuality and individual freedom and responsibility …”Mentioning about a community of hope, he said one of the objections raised against post-modernism relates to skepticism regarding human progress and future prospects in life and lack of hope for a better future. No one is sure where post-modernism is taking us to. This, primarily is because they say ‘the world is in a period of transition.’ Mar Militios cautions that Christianity has a greater mission towards children. “When God is presented as a loving God and Christ as the incarnation of that love, we need to re-incarnate that love in the life of the child to provide her/him with hope for future and assurance that what is good in human will progress. Only by being a caring community Christian Church can do praxis. But providing a free and comfortable atmosphere to express themselves and be what she/he be and become will help the child see life positively.”
He says the project and programmes need to be planned keeping this in mind where each individual is recognised, honoured and cared for — the best thing we can give to the children. A community in which all are welcome and where no one will be excluded.
This in fact, he says, is a return to the Garden where we have a perfect fellowship with God and his creation even while each has its own identity respected and acknowledged. This calls for continuous re-reading of the Bible, re-interpretation of our faith and re-formulation of methodology towards dealing with children with the change of time.

Dwelling on cliché topics of globalisation and consumerism, His Grace says this had received major criticism against post-modernism evangelised through post-modern economic globalisation techniques.

He says the idea of globalisation in itself is a contradiction to the post-modern ideology. But transnational corporations through cleverly manipulated media propaganda have presented consumerism as a matter of individual freedom and liberty of choice which he sees working effectively in India and in other countries.

His Grace quotes Fredric Jameson for lessons against consumerism with life of Jesus. Fredric’s “the cultural logic of capitalism”, he says is a meta-narrative in itself. “We need to present the individual stories in the Gospels regarding Jesus addressing the issue. Jesus who refused to perform a miracle to satisfy his hunger used it to provide food for thousands. Jesus’ caring love towards individuals who came to him in time of need can also be a lesson against consumerism. They need to be individual stories in the line of what Brueggmann says.”

His Grace comes out with some thriving issues concerning children of today. He says it is our responsibility to see each one of them in its own unique nature and to help God make that person grow to the fullness of that nature. We can do it only by accepting it as it is and in its own given environment both of space and time. God’s nature is beyond exhaustive human understanding. This inexhaustibility is displayed in the plurality of God’s creation that share his image. We shall explore into the ways and means of making God’s dream come true to the best of our ability.

Before concluding his long address, His Grace raised pertinent questions, which could be a topic of much debate later: How much we, as a community of Christ are aware and ready to respond to the socio-political-economic environment we live in and our children growing up? At the end of the address, he threw upon some persistent and thought provoking questions. How seriously we take our children respecting their general context of existence and growth?

How far we are ready to re-read the Bible and re-interpret Biblical meta-narrative to address the ever emerging context? How far we are able to accommodate other cultures and learn from them in our concern for children with an awareness that those cultures also turn out to be genuine cultures?

Mar Milithios will also take part in another seminar organised by CWM in Malaysia later this week.

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