Christ and Culture

By Not Known

What food do people eat? How is it served? How is it eaten? Who eats first? These and thousands of other things reveal the patterns of relationships and behaviour that add up to our culture. Culture can be as broad as a nation or race, or as small as the culture of a nuclear family.

How does being Christian affect culture?

Some try to create a uniqely and distinctly Christian culture. This may be an effort to imitate Biblical times. But, this is impossible: do we imitate late or early Old Testament times, or the culture of first century Judaism in which Jesus lived? Many efforts ot create ‘Christian’ culture finish up as thinly disguised imitations of some other culture anyways.

Others acts as though culture and Christ have nothing to do with each other. Life is divided into spiritual and cultural boxes. Christians things are done in church and the rest of life is lived by their community’scultural norms. But, culture is never neutral. Every culture feature relfects a world view.

Christ is our model on how to relate to culture.On one hand he stands outside and above culture – he is trans-cultural. On the other hand, Jesus, like us, lived in a particular culture. He was willing to follow the culture to which he was born in. Yet he was not afraid to depart from the cultural norms and to criticise those things that conflicted with his relationship with God.

So, let us embrace the culture into which God placed us by birth or residence. But let’s be Christians in the way we live in these cultures.