I recently attended a symposium and a question came up about culture to which some answered that the “scriptures transcend culture” and that when it comes to Christ “there is no culture.”
Many arguments were made using scripture and culture was not taken into consideration. Imagine something as important as culture being taken out of the interpretation of scriptures…say it ain’t so.
For the culturally challenged I offer this discord: Jesus gave a great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We would never be effective or even clear in our learning if we attempt to disect cultural understanding from scripture.
Culture is simply defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. There is a pop culture in America that is demonstrated collectively in music, fashion, food and arts. We have culture in religion as the Nation of Islam has several distinctive characteristics that have become their culture.
In the Lord’s church there are many things that have become the cultural norm for the body. These, like other elements of culture, have been intellectual achievements by the masses.
Christ dictates the culture of his people. He said that love would be a definitive way that people will know his people. Unconditional love is an intellectual achievement regarded collectively. We learned the principle of love from the love that God showed toward us. We understand this love and we immulate it to eachother. Forgiveness is another cultural item that defines God’s people. The world has their own reasons for forgiveness and God’s people only have one: We forgive because we are forgiven.
Serving one another, peace keeping, what we eat, how we treat our bodies, or collective feelings about salvation and sin are all the collective achievements as exercised by our intellectual capacity to understand.
I thank God for the culture of the church. Because of it I feel so comfortable with the collective true brotherhood who elevate Christ more than mankind.
I am thankful of the many brothers and sisters in Christ I have who have loved me unconditional, even when I made it difficult to do. I am grateful for all the mature members of the church who treated me like a grandchild and corrected me in love when I was wrong. I am indebted to the teachers of the word who have instructed me in righteousness and taught me the very doctrine of Christ I stand on today.
Culture is where doctrine and application harmonize for the world to see and for God to be glorified.
Comments are welcomed!