H.G. DR. GEEVARGHESE
Where are we now?
The unprecedented discoveries of science have created the Global Village during the latter part of the Twentieth century and the comminication media has given us the World Wide Web, Internet, T.V., the computer, together with the possibility of a global suicide through the atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, Star Wars and what not. While I was in U.A.E. for one month, I read a poem written by a twelve-year old Malayalee girl, entitled "The World after the Third World War with nuclear weapons." I was reminded of a world with only millions of corpses and billions of flies and no living person to bury the dead. Such poems our children ought to open the inner eyes of older people like you and me to find out a theology and ethics of a world of brotherhood and mutual sharing, instead of mutual annihilation. Scientific progress and ethical regress are going hand in hand. The rich become richer and more selfish and the poor are becoming more idle and animal like.
Urbanization is widening the gap between cities and the villages, between the rich and the poor. Millionaires are becoming Billionaires and those who are dying of hunger, malnutrition, sickness and filthy environment are also in millions. More money is spent for armaments, nuclear bombs and luxuries and less for universal literacy, cheaper medicines, and habitation for the poorest strata of society.
Third world currencies are weakened and the prices of the dollar, dinar, increasing year after year. The debt-trap of the poorest nations is widening by the cruel interest rate charged by the World Bank, IMF, and the rich nations. The debts that are being written of by rich nations, as a gesture, is less than the individual income of the rich peoples of the world. The welfare economics that Amartys Sen wants in the capitalistic system will not be put into practice in the near future as selfless, like sex instinct and herd instinct, is not understood as the originals in inherited in the evolution of humanity from animality. I suggest few impossible possibilities.
One World Religion of Love Taming Many Dogmas:
The three theological virtues are all important, but all are not equal. St. Paul has rightly said, Faith, Hope, Love these three remain, but the greatest of these is love. Dr. Moltman in his famous Theology of Hope, brought Hope to the centre, from the last chapter of theology. But he will also agree that St. Paul's evaluation cannot be questioned. God is not faith and Hope, but God is Love.(1 John 4:8-16) If we believe that God is not only to be believed and hoped for, but to be loved as He is eternal love in eternal action in His
Social Being, Love is the essence of God. He is co-equal and co-essential, God is not a Monad as He is Love. The Greek word used for love is not the classical word, Eros, but the new word Agape, which is all-inclusive, in-discriminatory, unselfish, divine love. Hence He gives rain to the just and the unjust. He sent His own Son to the world, to bear the Cross vicariously for others, as any real love is unselfish. Real mission is not to baptize others but to make all people disciples of the Triune God, manifested in the human form and did everything for others and finally dies for no sin of His own, but for the sins of all people of all ages without distinction of caste, creed or color. His death and resurrection, ascension and intercession in heaven sum up all things in heaven and on earth in the fullness of time (Eph.1:10). His last commission was to make disciples of all the nations and not to baptize a few people.
Baptism is to be given only to those who freely ask for it. My right to become a Hindu or Muslim or an atheist is my Human Right and so change of political party or ideology is one's freedom allowed in the Constitution. Baptism is necessary only for those who want to join the visible fellowship of the Church. There are more un-baptized disciples of Christ, whom Christ Himself called His mothers, brothers and sisters (Mark 3:35). The tree is known by its fruits and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (agape) [Galatians 5:22]. There are many dogmas among the various denominations of the Church, but they do not love other Christians and non-Christians as the members of their own families and so their discipleship is to be decided by God alone. Parents show their love to their children by sharing their love, wisdom, time and resources for them. The one criterion of judgment between the sheep on the right hand and goats on the left hand, was actions of love and not their dogmas. I have written a story about Mother Teresa in the Doothan tri-magazine, published from St. Paul's Mission Press, Mavelikara-3, Kerala, describing her parent's suffering service in Hades to show her love to the suffering people of hell than enjoying heaven selfishly (1 Peter 3:19). The main question today is whether members of all religions or ideologies will love their enemies also and help them and share their suffering that humanity may become one world-wide Human family.
Hindu motto of Sarva Loko Sukhino Bhavanti (Let the entire world be healthy) is also rigid motive. Alha is also compassionate and Muslims also believe in the world of fellowship of sharing.
A United Religious Organization (URO)
In the model of UNO may help ultimate unity in love without surrendering their differing theologies. The World Parliament of Religions is an occasional get-together, which can be more frequent if a URO has a less luxurious headquarters in Asia or Africa and national offices in each country, all democratically elected, but with minority reservations for numerically smaller religions. The Cross in the centre uniting OM, the crescent, the Jewish and all monotheistic star, and the sickle and the hammer can be accepted, if the Cross is understood not as the Christians alone, but the symbol of self-sacrificing agape which all noble religions consider as their own also. I am only thinking aloud and not dictating a symbol for all religions. What I say as the impossible possibility is what Reinhold Niebuhr, an American ethicist, named the Sermon on the Mount. I do not see Christianity of today in the centre as it is more after the crown than bearing the Cross. Many non-Christians are bearing the Cross and practicing self denial more than the so-called Christians. My conviction is that religion does not have a God ear-marked for itself, but the Triune God is Sat Chit and Ananda. The Compassionate One, Allah, the Advaitha of uniting all deities and Gods in the all-inclusive unity in plurality and the pluralistic unity in the Holy Trinity.
The third millennium cannot afford crusades or religious wars of the past uniting theology are the need of the hour: Kevaladveda or Visishtadaitin or the mono theist and the worshippers of all religions must be allowed to hold on to their convictions till a unified dogma is evolved.
URO is to be platform to agree to disagree and the same time, love those who have a different article of faith than one's own. Orthodoxy is not totally isolated conservatism, but the Truth of all religions accommodated in the fellowship of selfless love and respect to Human Right of others also.
So, the world brotherhood is an idealism and Utopian dream as long as capitalism, of the present hue continues to rule the world. Still, 'Ideas Have Legs' and God is still on the throne. At least there will be a minority in the rich and the poor world who will see the need of Sharing World of hard working people, who will be willing and ready to bear the cross of Christ to save the world from the present dangerous predicament of selfish economics, politics and the craze for luxury and power for themselves or their party or their own children, ignoring the right of others.