Monday, March 7, 2011

Thoughts on Culture and Christianity

It's funny how much of your culture flows into your Christianity. To truly follow Christ in a manner consistent with the Bible - absent of cultural trappings or influences - is a challenge. Case in point:

The word "reverence" is not often used in American English. In some ways it's a foreign concept. Because the U.S. is not a hierarchical society, people aren't revered because of age, status or position. Respect is earned. If you're in a position of authority and you aren't respected, chances are you'll get "voted off the island."

So when it comes to having reverence - a healthy respect - for Christ, that's a hard concept for me. It's not that I don't want to, or even that I don't try to, it's just that I don't have a lot of practical examples of what reverence actually looks like.

I've had this song stuck in my head for awhile now, and one of the lines is "Lord, I stand on Your merciful ground, yet with every step tread with reverence." I've been pondering this all week, and it led me to the book of Malachi:

"You have spoken arrogantly against Me," says the Lord. "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out His requirements... Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test they get away with it.

"Then those who feared [reverenced] the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared [reverenced] the Lord and honoured His name.

"Surely the day is coming... All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire," says the Lord Almighty. "But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays." - Malachi 3:13-4:2

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