Called To Community: A Scriptural Model Of Religious Education For All Of God's People With Special Concern For The Mentally Retarded
Religious education for many conjures up the image of children receiving "religious instruction." This is an extremely limited horizon associating religious education with childhood and crippling the possibilities and potential for Christian maturity as well as the authentic Christian community to which we are called as the Body of Christ. Children will perceive this crippling outlook and will themselves value religion as an asset for immature people, much like we convince a child to eat his spinach because it will help him grow, presuming that adults neither have the taste nor the need for it. Children recognize such attitudes for what they are and become skeptical of parents and teachers whose "religious policies" for their children do not coincide with their own personal practice and lifestyles. Rather, religious education must be presented in such a way that the revelation of God himself in the history of man is not a "thing" outside of himself, but that God is, was and always will be revealing himself in the present conscious experience of people. Revelation is a constant personal relationship between God and his people, Jesus being •the recipient of God's self-gift. Through his life, death and resurrection we come to understand the personal, relational nature of God.