Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cross cultural misunderstanding

Just a quick blog today. Caspar talks to Jim about the prevalence of 'blood' in the Christian church.

When you think about it, it is true. There is talk of blood at the Lord's supper. There is talk of blood when we speak of salvation. There is blood when we talk of how are sins get washed away. Heck, if we want to give an exact physical description of the crucifixion we need to say that we believe in a savior who actually had to be beaten, nailed to a cross, and die from asphyxiation in order to save us from our sins. It is impossible for us as humans to completely appreciate that gift, but as far as I can appreciate it, I do. But from an outsiders point of view, it must seem strange....

Caspar begins talking about hymns and states, " 'What baffles me as always, though, are the words. 'What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus....No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.' 'Blood, blood, blood. Imagine if Christians heard a Muslim singing about blood all the time. I bet they'd get kind of freaked out.' " (pg. 92)

Just a thought - but with all the anti-Islamic sentiment going around right now, might it not behoove us to be a little more critical in our thinking about other religions? Maybe we should take time to learn what other religions actually believe and teach and not just what others say they believe or what fringe groups say they believe. I mean, do we want certain Christian factions speaking for all of us as far as what we believe as Christians?

Remember that in the Early Christian church, Christians were labeled 'cannibals' because of misunderstandings surrounding the meaning of the Lord's Supper.

I'm not saying that there are other ways to Salvation apart from Christ. What I am saying is that we shouldn't let fear dictate how we think about and treat people who have a different belief system from us.

If we truly want to spread the gospel to the whole world what will make it easier: Going in with guns blazing to discredit someone's entire belief system? Or approaching someone with love and respect for who they are and where they have come from?

When I look at Jesus examples in Scripture of how he approached different people in the Bible: The Samaritan woman (John 4:7), the centurion (Luke 7:3), I suspect that I know the answer.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye', when you, yourself, fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Luke 6:41-42)