'Ponyo' and the challenges of multiculturalism

Josh Larsen

August 28, 2009

Absolutely, lay your foundation first. Foundation, then structure, then walls, then roof... After it's all built and your child leaves the house, and she will, she'll know what to come back to.

August 28, 2009

(via Brad) Absolutely, lay your foundation first. Foundation, then structure, then walls, then roof... After it's all built and your child leaves the house, and she will, she'll know what to come back to.<br><br>(Sorry for the repost. We had to change the URL on this post. Other comments should work fine.)

Scott Buchanan
August 28, 2009

Children should be exposed to other belief systems at the rate at which they are able to process them. Exposing children to alternative ideas before they can really process the differences will simply confuse them. However, sheltering them from other ideas will tend to create bigots that don't even really understand why they believe what they believe.<br><br>Also, while this wasn't the main question asked, I think there is a serious misstep in the article that should be addressed: namely, the claim that "the movie’s general worldview is distinctly non-Western and, consequently, non-Christian." Since when is Christianity necessarily Western? I'm pretty sure Jesus was from the Middle East. I understand that the author is contrasting a traditional East Asian worldview with the Judeo-Christian worldview that long-dominated the West, but to associate "Christian" and "Western" so closely endangers the gospel message.

August 28, 2009

Ponyo was a great movie. If a character in a movie makes your child question his or her faith, you might want to question the way you're raising your children. One movie won't stack up to the daily and weekly lessons and the relationship my child has with Jesus. This seems to be one of those articles that reinforces the idea that Christians are narrow minded and ridiculous.

Josh Larsen
August 28, 2009

I mulled over your exact point quite a bit Scott while writing this piece. In the end, I decided to use the non-Western, non-Christian terminology precisely for the reason you state: Christianity is Western compared to a "traditional East Asian worldview," such as that of Japan, where "Ponyo" is from.

August 29, 2009

Children should definitely be exposed to other belief systems. This is one reason we homeschool with the Sonlight curriculm. It doesn't come solely from a "christian" viewpoint. We have always tried to give our kids exposure to other beliefs.<br><br>I think, though, Jerod, that if you wait until they leave home, as your comment states, they will be sorely unprepared. Our children have always studied and met people with other beliefs. Because they were still at home, they were able to immediately talk to us about any situations that arose. Now that they are in high school and doing dual college classes, the same applies. They are not "shell-shocked" by others' opinions, nor the godlessness that surrounds them. <br><br>Our goal has never been to just have our children "succeed" in life. It has always been to have them be leaders in whatever situation they are in. This comes from children who have encountered the living God for themselves, (with parental involvement and guidance), who know what they believe. When you walk in the confidence of God that comes from having Him work in you and through you, you can lead in any situation.<br>

August 30, 2009

I have 4 children (25, 22, 20, and 14). The older three are all strong believers, with deep souls and good minds, who are involved in the creative arts--fiction and memoir writing, music composition, and film acting. They are lights in the darkness of culture and media.<br><br>I strongly disagree with scottsb's statement that "sheltering them from other ideas will tend to create bigots that don't even really understand why they believe what they believe." That is absolute nonsense. During our children's childhood years (roughly 4-14) we were careful to nurture their developing spirits only with good and godly input. We "sheltered" them not out of fear, but out of an intentional strategy to build appetites for the good, true, and beautiful. We might have passed on Ponyo, not because we felt it was somehow "dangerous," but because we might have thought it simply was not the best that their developing minds and spirits needed.<br><br>The window of childhood is open only for a brief time, and your children by God's design are open to your influence in way they never will be again in the rest of their lives. We saw it as a critical time of stewardship. That window begins to close in early adolescence, but we knew we could trust them as they began to interact with the world because we knew we had done the soul training to enable them to biblically discerning. <br><br>Proverbs 4:23 says "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." If you do the word work, the idea is that what goes into your heart will "define the boundaries of your life." As parents, we "guard" our children's hearts in the childhood years to make sure that the boundaries of their lives are defined by God's ways, not by the world's ways. Proverbs 22:6 ("train up a child in the way he should go") says that when childhood is completed, we should dedicate that new young adult to God's way (the "child" is a naar, which is a young man in their teens). Then, when they become "old" (ie, an adult), they will not depart from His ways. That process has worked with our children. Our youngest is heading into music or musical theater with a strong heart for the Lord, and a desire to use her talents for God. Bottom line: Guard your children's hearts, and you prepare them for life.

August 31, 2009

I think it is good that it provoked your children to ask questions that may not otherwise be brought up in that light. We need to experience what our children are exposed to today so we can give them the biblical tie ins.<br><br>I took my three year old grandson to see Ponyo last week. The film could also be used to teach children to have responsibility for each other because we are our brothers keeper, while also explaining how the world would be if we didn't have Jesus, but a "goddess of mercy" and "wizards". <br><br>When we think of it in this light we are so very thankful that we have a personal savior that loves us and has everything under His control. By the way, I very much appreciate your comments on the movie and your perspective.

September 1, 2009

In the last two years, my whole outlook and understanding has changed. The secular world does it's best to dissuade, disguise, mis-direct, and deny the precepts of Christianity.<br><br>From this small idea(movie) to J.K.Rowling's series of Harry Potters life of magic is purely dangerous. It DE-sensitizes children to accept heresies that have been around since the days of Jesus. <br><br>My thoughts are to explain to your children that magic is an evil practice. To try magic is to try to be friends to the devil. I live in a city where the largest "Theme Park" travel destination exists. This company's whole thrust is toward Magic. When one looks closely, it is astounding how many occult symbols and stories are bombarded upon our selves and children. Is it entertaining? Yes, Is it fun to go? Yes.<br>But young children up through age 18 need a solid foundation to rest upon and use to "discern the spirits" aka what is the message of this movie and cartoon.<br>The bottom line is that we must teach and explain the differences of Christianity's truth and lies from the secular world.

November 5, 2011

let them be exposed to worldy religions at a young age and let them find for themselves a faith that they can believe in, if it isnt christianity so be it, but atleast theyhave faith in something instead of nothing..

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