05 July 2014

COUNTER THE CULTURE

XIV SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
zechariah 9:9-10; romans 8:9, 11-13; matthew 11:25-30

an extract from ellen goodman’s editorial, «battling our culture is parents’ task»* in the «chicago tribune»:
sooner or later, most americans become card-carrying members of the counterculture. this is not an underground holdout of hippies. no beads are required. all you need to join is a child. 
at some point… it becomes clear that one of your main jobs as a parent is to counter the culture. what the media deliver to children by the masses, you are expected to rebut one at a time. parents are expected to protect their children from an increasingly hostile environment. are the kids being sold junk food? just say no. is tv bad? turn it off. are there messages about sex, drugs, violence all around? counter the culture.


barbara dafoe whitehead, a research associate, writes: «a common complaint i heard from parents was their sense of being overwhelmed by the culture. parents see themselves in a struggle for the hearts and minds of their own children.» it isn’t that they can’t say no. it’s that there’s so much more to say no to.
americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. today they are expected to raise their children in opposition. once the chorus of cultural values was full of ministers, teachers, neighbours, leaders. they demanded more conformity, but offered more support. now the messengers are ninja turtles, madonna, rap groups, and celebrities pushing sneakers. 
it’s what makes child-raising harder. it’s not just that american families have less time with their kids, it’s that we have to spend more of this time doing battle with our own culture. it’s rather like trying to get your kids to eat their green beans after they’ve been told all day about the wonders of milky way. come to think of it, it’s exactly like that!

what society is compelling (not only american) parents to do today is what the gospel of JESUS has challenged christians to do! counter the culture!

the indicators of this counter-cultural way: GOD’s revelation is not to «the wise and the learned» but to the «little ones»; freedom from labour and burdens comes not from escapism but from taking the easy-fitting yoke of JESUS; the blessed in the kingdom are those the world considers unfortunate.

our reason/motivation for being counter-cultural: our GOD… a king who rides not a horse but a colt… a symbol of peace; who proclaims not war but peace to the nations; who does not build weapons of destruction but destroys weapons (cf. first reading); who took the form of a slave and was born in human likeness; who calls us to learn from his meekness and humility.

will i imitate my GOD and counter the culture? will i learn from him… who is meek and humble of heart??

* for the whole editorial, click http://goo.gl/HPW0SS