The Gospel and Culture

There is no doubt that all of us reading this post have different cultures. But what is culture? To me, culture is something strange to define because it includes many things. It is simply the way of life for a certain language group of people. There is even a culture for animals, birds and fish! It is the way we walk, talk, think, eat and react to everyday life. But how can we relate this with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ?

Jesus lived on earth 2,000 years ago. He live in a particular part of the Middle East. He lived in a certain way of which we can surely call a culture. He wore cloth like a Jew of those days. He even spoke certain language (s). He ate the food of those days and he wore shoes of those days. Jesus was a true Jew in every way. Yet, he was a different man in his thinking, speech, work and life.

What is your culture saying about Jesus and his way of life? Sometimes even our Church activities become laws and regulations depending on our denominational doctrines. No doubt that Brother Herald Camping said ‘we should run away from the local churches because Satan is already ruling.’ Could running a way from the local church be a solution to live the holy living? Not really.

I shared this article with you today my fellow workers in the Lord who follow this blog and I have reason for this. The heart of this article is coming below. It is about something the Lord has done to me on 17th March 2014 about my culture. My culture has its beliefs which could not only hinder the spread of the Gospel, but hinder our Christ-like living. We call it having an order in the family, not messing up. To keep the family in order according to my culture, a wife must do the a, b, c, d in the house. This is not bad, yet we can ask, was that God’s way?

According to my culture, my wife is the one to keep our home and the rooms clean. I cannot even take a broom and clean the house as long as she lives! She must remain the cook in the house. She must make sure all beds are set and prepared every evening no matter whether she is healthy physically or not. She is the one to serve me as I come from the office or from the fields. We call this all, “ORDER” in the family. Everyone know what s/he should do. I’m the bread winner as long as I live and she must be the caretaker of our home including the cleanliness of our children and our clothes.

But, on 27th March 2014, the Lord spoke a clear message to me. I was the conductor at our chapel that day. I even read Revelation 12:11 to the Church congregation and declared, “We are all at war as Christians”, and few minutes later, I was under attack. Satan was throwing doubts in my mind; all rooted in my culture. I was doubting whether my wife is the right wife for me or not. There were many expectations from my culture about what a wife should be. Many of these expectations were mentioned above in this post. As I was thinking of these, angry and bully as I was, the Lord spoke to me in a very special way. This is what he said.

Jesus: “John, would you go into your house now, take your notebook and a pen and come back to this lonely place?”

Me: “Yes Lord, I will”. I went into the room while my dear wife was sleeping about 3:40 PM on 27th March 2014. I then picked the notebook and a blue pen and I came out and sat behind the house facing to the East.

Jesus: “John, would you write down everything you expect Eliza to do for you in the house”?

Me: “Yes, Lord I will”. And I began to write all the expectations listed above and many others.

Jesus: “John, would you like to do these same things to your dear and lovely wife Eliza in the house from today onward”?

Me: “Well, Lord, every person has a duty. My job is to dig in the fields and find food wherever I can find it. My work is to work at the office and bring money home. It is not my work to clean the house, cook, wash clothes, bath children or prepare the beds. I have no time even to wash the utensils. These and many others are the duties of Eliza my wife”.

Jesus: “I know John, but are these beliefs not from your culture? If yes, do you really love me John? If you love me as I know you do, please do to others what you want them do to you. I gave you the physical strength so that you do the most work even in your house. Please Johnny, I love you. Go and do everything you expect your wife to do for you and do it with gladness and thanksgiving. Do it all for me because you love me. I will bless your family if you do this. Can you get up now, go into the house and start washing the utensils John?”

Me: “Yes, Lord. Because you say so, I will. But please forgive me for thinking of myself first. I thought it was also from you that each one of us has a duty. Lord, give me your grace. My culture seems to speak louder to me than you do. Please speak to me every day so that I will listen and obey. I then woke up of the chair, went into the house, picked some money and rushed to the nearby shop to buy some soap.

I then came back home and started washing the plates. My wife was surprised. “What are you doing John?” She asked. “I’m helping you wash the plates today” I said to her.  Hey honey, not only today but whenever I can. She was glad from her heart. But because of the same culture I have, she was not really in peace seeing her handsome husband washing the plates while she is alive. But I explained the reasons to her, and she understood.

Today, I can wash the plates, clean/sweep the room, cook, wash the clothes and more whenever I can. Can you do the same at your home? May the Lord bless and keep if you also practice this. Pray for me that I will continue with the new life given to me by Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. I will soon write a book on this issue.