Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ministering "inter-culturally":

The last entry I left here had to do with reaching across cultural barriers to share the good news. The fact that I, and many like me, are facing is that the greatest cultural barrier is not because of the language we speak, the food we eat, clothes we wear, or the way we organize our social lives; the greatest barrier has to do with the nature of people outside of a relationship with Christ.
It isn't very flattering, but Jesus spoke about some of the people of His day--religious people, likely pillars of the society--as being followers--close followers--of their father the devil. In Ephesians 2 Paul says that those outside of Christ are controlled by the course of this world, their own desires, and Satan ("The prince of the power of the air the spirit tht now works in the children of disobedience.") Those of us who have put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior have been taken from darkness and made a part of the Kingdom of Christ. That means that two people may live side by side, even be a part of the same family, and yet be a part of radically different cultures.
So the need is to reach across the cultural divide without violating the principles of my King.
  • I must first separate what is really the will of my Lord, from those things that are just the way my kind, Christians, act. I heard it put this way one time: "Christian living as compared to the way Christians live." The sad fact is that many (often me) who claim the name of Christ, don't live as Christ directs.
  • Then I must learn enough about the particular brand of the world that lives in my neighborhood to be able to communicate. And the longer one has been a Christian the more there is to learn. The fact that we forget and that the world changes, makes this so.
  • Finally, at least for now finally, I need to gain a hearing and actually speak the truth.

In case you haven't noticed I'm looking for some ideas here.

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