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Op-Ed

Unemployment and Theological Colleges in Nagaland

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By EMN Updated: Mar 28, 2017 11:40 pm
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Looking at the number of theological colleges in Nagaland, I used to ask myself, “Are Nagas becoming more spiritual or are theological colleges serving as substitute to unemployment in Nagaland.” Both seem to be right. I am sure many of you will strongly say ‘No’with regard to the later and ‘Yes’ to the former. Yes, many young boys and girls enter theological colleges with lots of expectation. They study and learn spiritual warfare of life. The necessity of living a good Christian life both as individual and community is taught to them. They forego their youthful life under Christian discipline. Many go back as renewed persons and work in different churches and places with zeal for God and his people. In this way they serve as link to reach the ultimate as well as what is below.

On the other hand, the emergence of numerous theological colleges can also portray the other side of life. There are people who bitterly fail in life and seek refuge in theological colleges to earn reputation in the society once more. There are many learned theologians, yet there are also people who cannot even pass class 5 or 8 but passed out successfully in theological studies attaining even Master of Divinity or Ph.D. Can you fully trust his/her success? I fully doubt their achievement. There are some who cannot even read or write properly, yet they get excellent position in their religious studies. Yes, I admit that secular studies are different from theological studies (God works in different ways in the life of people). But one thing they have in common is “Study”. Either you are in secular or religious field, you need to study. One person may be an IAS officer, another a clerk, but both studied according to their field of life. As theologians, you cannot push away your studies and only learn how to pray and sing.

The call of God differs from one person to another. If you are a married man or woman, the call of God for you is family life. You are to cherish and bring up your family in Christian spirit and not forsake them and seek happiness inside the classroom. You may change from Saul to Paul, but your family members suffer the stigmata of life. You cannot make others to drink bitter gall and enjoy yourself with honey from the rock. Change of life may take place but change should not hinder the well-being of others. There are men who quarrel and beat up their wife day and night. Their presence at home is like a dreadful disease to the children. To change such persons, theological colleges are recommended. The parents would say, “Oh, let him go and study Bible.” Yes, the last resort. Is that not an insult to God?

A boy got married to a beautiful girl. After a year of staying together, the girl could no longer stay under such cruel treatment. They were divorced. The girl came back to the parents and lived ever happily serving as a School teacher. Suddenly, one day, the boy’s parents came along with aunties and uncles. They pestered the girl to come back. The words they used were, “Tai (referring to the man) etia tu Bible bi puri bole jabo koi ase. Etu nimite wapas ahi jabi na.” The words sound great with excellent excuse to be a refugee in theological college. To take shelter in theological colleges may end up with a longer tail because it is never a genuine cause. It is only an escape. To escape is to fall into another bigger trap of life.

Likewise, many young people in the villages and towns of Nagaland and Myanmar escape to theological colleges to gain reputation of life. If such people could not understand their own text books, how do you expect them to understand the Word of God which is harder than any text books? I do not denounce religious studies, but I propose sincerity and faithfulness in it. God does not show partiality with regard to our learnings and knowledge. But we need understanding people not for heaven but for this very present world. All are called but few may be chosen.

We need not substitute unemployment in Nagaland with theological studies. I say this because those mentioned people will come back as Pastors, Youth Directors, Women Coordinators, etc. In other words, they get employment in the Church at their return. The Church is always kind and loving. It accepts them with open arms and legs. But the fear is that wrong teachings can be imparted to the flock due to their wrong learning. The teaching was right, but they learnt it wrongly because they could not understand. Such things are also taking place under our nose. We all can smell it easily.There can also be some professors and lecturers who may have the tendency of criticism. They narrate false stories of other denominations or religions (a fake class) to the students. Many theological colleges may be existing at the expense of criticism. Such colleges can survive as an apex body, because they are fully based on criticism.

The aim of erecting theological colleges is to bring about better faith in the novices so as to defend one’s faith. But defending one’s faith is not about criticism of other denominations. Spreading false news even at the pulpit of God is common for Naga religious leaders. May be they are doing it in the name of God. Let God be praised and glorified even in wrong preaching (ha ha ha). The Church can go wrong when leaders preach wrong notions. Conventions and conferences are made used to voice out criticisms of different sort. I hope the Speakers were not invited with such intention. Such religious leaders though accepted and honoured by the members of the Church may find the curse of God upon his/her head (off course God may forgive you because you are preaching without a head) Experience based on truth must be made known to the members, but falsehood and rumours need not replace the word of God inside and outside the Church.

Let every theologian and Church leader be the mouth piece of God and not the fake audio version of God in the Society.

Religiously Yours,
G. L. Khing
Kohima
tisislawkhing@gmail.com

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By EMN Updated: Mar 28, 2017 11:40:02 pm