Shimenkan Christian Member Shares: Go Back to the Nature of Man and Education

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By Ruth WangNovember 9th, 2015

Recently, last October 15 to 17, the Academic Seminar on Samuel Pollard's Education Philosophy was held in Beijing. Many famous scholars, professors, etc., were in attendance. However, there are those who are not as popular but quietly serve and support the Shimen speech of ordinary Christians. Althouh their stories may be simple, they are still touching.

Sistet Lin Qiong from Beijing said that it was not easy for her  when she saw submitted the speech topic, "Life and Education." She still likes to discuss this topic from the Shimen point-of-view and also through two identities - the first being the Christian's identity and the other as a member of the Shimenkan.

She shared her understanding of "life & education" in four angles. She talked about present times where we are facing a lot of weird situations with regards to education and called out that we need to go back to the origin of man and education. And Pollard and the Shimen are quite an inspiring example.

1. The education we face nowadays

Sister Lin said that with the current education we are faced today makes her think of Chai Jing's documentary, "Under the Dome." "The haze is visible, but not just the haze but I think our education is also under the dome," She shares. A lot of people are talking about what has happened with our education. With all kinds of analysis, she very much agrees with the following point, "The current education system really is under a dome, surrounding each person's brain, and everyone's mind and internal emotions. We cannot move like crabs." 

Working in a bank's human resources department, Sister Lin is responsible for employee recruitment. Every year she contacts a lot of college graduates. "Every interview is a kind of a game. Why? Because you will see that more and more children have become very materealistic. They come up to tell you their major, the name of famous university, and the money they should be earning instead of saying,  'I want to learn something, want to do something, to give my talents and knowledge to help others.' What is worse is that children have become completely selfish over years. They know well the hidden rules in each joint function." As we all know, we all live like so. " 

"If we live like so, why are we alive? Why can we  call ourselves 'man?' And where does the meaning come from?” 

Sister Lin also talked about her daughter who went to study in the United States for two years and experienced her own reflections on domestic education. She talked about three aspects of the problem: the lack of sex and love education, good children with no personality, especially in the absence of mental education. "Many problems of Chinese children in the United States is not because they have no knowledge, no degree, but they do not have an open mind or they lack enlightenment in their education. They act as if they are only a learning machine whose goal is just to obtain a higher degree."

2. And what is the origin of man & education? 

When it comes to the essence of man, as a Christian, Sister Lin mentioned the Man in the Bible: know of the divine and sin. 

"God created man. In His own image and likeness, God create man. When God made man, put His image inside of him. Because of this, we have the hope but we are also sinful. The Bible speaks thoughly of the human nature." 

"I like the word of Karl Theodor Jaspers. He said,"Education is the soul of education." Christians would agree with this statement. For others, when you are very quiet, you may feel that your heart is not the same as that state. This is a kind of existence. This is what education is about, this is what I understand the nature of any education is." 

"In a word, the nature is being as Creation." Sister Lin experienced, "Education will teach you how to do things. Everybodycompares to show offwhat he has, such as wealth, schooling, social status, the power, and so on, but in essence, it is the nature of Being for a man. Not your grades in school, but what kind of person you are." 

Lin shared with us the origin of people and education. For example, the Samuel service experience in Shimen. Early in 1904, Samuel first came to Shimen from the wilderness and began to build a church. He led 5,000 people to be baptized, created the Dahuamiao language, translated the Bible, and preached the Gospel and education. In Shimen, Samuel opened up the progress of  civilization and modernization which promoted a great change in the society. These changes include people beginning to be more civilized, hygienic, pay more attention to their familial relationships and ethics. This is a big change and the most fundamental change has led them "from ignorance to civilization, from no belief to having  religious beliefs." 

Finally, Sister Lin points out that present China's problem is the lack of enlightenment education. While she watched at the father where to go, moved by emotional interaction between these children, and felt the importantance of the enlightenment education since childhood. She wants more people pay attention to this piece, lit life with life. " I believe that true education is to ignite a child's inner light, no matter their knowledge, wealth, social status, etc."

Translated By: Lily Ding

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