Treating other cultures with respect…


Warning: ksort() expects parameter 1 to be array, object given in /home/cityfell/public_html/wp-content/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/includes.php on line 346

I remember a little bit of first grade:  I remember hearing “ching chong ching” with children pulling at the sides of their eyes (because I’m Asian and there weren’t many Asians in my school at the time…in Queens…yes that’s crazy I know). And I remember being embarrassed as perfectly normal things (to me) were made fun of, or considered gross or stupid. Kids would see dumplings (pot stickers) and say “ew what’s that!?!” as they ate their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Most people outgrow this type of behavior.  Thank God!  But…we don’t automatically grow out of this way of thinking…  What do I mean?  Whenever something is different we still do tend to consider it “stupid” or at the very least “sketchy” – especially things involving paradigm shifts… 

So for instance when Genesis 1 says that we are made of the “dust” of the earth, “O how unscientific!”  Or when Paul (written centuries after Genesis, in Greek, during Roman times) says that we are to submit to one another…wives to husbands, and husbands to wives (loving them sacrificially “as Christ loves the church”) “O how socially regressive.  It’s perfectly acceptable to say in polite society that one thinks the Bible is socially regressive (ie, fancy way of saying stupid…because it’s from different cultures, and different from ours).  But it’s not “stupid”, every culture uses a different set of categories and ideas to talk about the world around them; the Bible was written in three different languages (and many dialects) and a dozen different cultures over roughly 1000 years… Because God isn’t just a Hebrew God, but the God of history, and He’s been there since the beginning…

So for every “immigrant” kid that grew up with people trying to marginalize you or your culture, God knows exactly how you feel!  The very act of God speaking to a culture in a direct and relevant way means that people of other cultures will look back and attribute all the barbarisms of that culture to God.  Or misunderstand the culture and read it the wrong way.  Or just dismiss the whole thing off the bat as strange and stupid.  Too bad.

The good news is that all the culturally biased objections to God themselves become “stupid” over time (cf. Bertrand Russell – an extraordinary genius in other fields discuss “Why I am Not a Christian”)…but God remains, and some people climb the mountain of cultural understanding to see Him as a first century Jewish carpenter…some climb even further and see Him guiding the prophets in exile, or with the early Kings, or guiding Moses, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham…and yes even at the beginning of time, teaching us that creation itself is like a song.

Related posts:

  1. A Bible Primer
  2. Recognizing Jesus
  3. On Marriage…
  4. Prerequisite to learning and God…
  5. How can you trust the gospels?
  6. Q&A: did Jesus have a wife?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *