Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Can the Gospel be "Infused" into Culture?

One thing that many seem to miss is that there is a difference between the cultural influence on our understanding of scripture and being an influence in culture.
I think we sometimes blur the distinction.

I was talking to a person recently who used the word "infuse" which to me was not correct. His view was that we were to infuse Jesus into that culture.

I have come to realize that it is not about "infusing" culture with Jesus, rather it is showing a whole new culture in which all other cultures must become subject to.
The person whom I was speaking with seemed to think this was not correct as it would create a monoculture, and in a way he was correct. Yet it is not that all other cultures are "destroyed" but "restored". Meaning that we still experience our individuality within the unity of the whole..
Also it is the idea of One Body (Jesus') made of many parts (us) becoming the Church (called out ones) to become as One... the Bride to be brought out in perfection to be the Wife of Jesus... we are one in Him as He is in the Father...

Now, as we bring in our culture it must still be subject to Christ. In some cultures a man can still have more than one wife... I have been told by some in our culture it is wrong to judge that culture morals as it is not right to do so... yet we need to realize though it is acceptable in that culture and that makes it "OK" is it beneficial for the best for those in that culture?
That is what the Holy Spirits job is all about. Working within people within that culture to bring them to be One in Christ Jesus.

History is rampant with the ravishing of cultures as they clash... and that is what religion is all about. Religion is based on the bias of that culture be it against it or for it... It only seeks to empirically destroy the lesser or weaker and make them subject to their culture and in that lose their individuality.

In a way I see that the Kingdom of God enhances our individuality while drawing us into the Body as a whole... I can as part of the Body rejoice that I am a foot... and also rejoice that I am part of that body for with out it I cannot be a living foot with purpose. I am lesser without the whole.

So, with history, I see that at times culture was infuse into Christianity and instead of life we found death. Instead of thinking the other better we look and see them as less than ourselves.

Here is the thing, many Christians seem to think that God is only active in the "Church" which misses the very message and impact of The Incarnation. If we keep to that mindset we without realizing it are presenting a god who is "out there" as opposed to actively here now working and calling and draw people to Himself.

God is just as active in today's culture whatever it is as He was when Jesus walked on the earth 2000 years ago. We need to be able to see beyond what we want to believe and realize God is much bigger than whatever we are able to imagine.

The Church must go outside it's walls and reach the world... but not out of arrogance and believing "we have God and you don't", rather acknowledging God is working in the person, just as when Phillip met the eunuch who was seeking understanding in what God was doing in his life... often we are just a small part of the activity God is already working in and though... that is the privilege of sharing the Gospel... it is not all about us but all about God's workings and a chance to see Him at work


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