Get to know the truth about the Scriptures. A roadmap to New Testament Christianity.

Christianity today: CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA AND CULTURE pt 1


"People come to Christianity from all over the world. These people have different customs and traditions. Their customs help to form their culture". Christians live in the world, though they are not of this world, and are to set their affections  on things on high (col3 :12),  yet we are in many ways affected by things, people and their practices around us. So we will profit if we take the time to learn of the ways of the people with whom we live and interact from day to day. As we do this, it is important that we be careful to determine what we can participate in and what not, within the society. Christians are not to be "conformed to this world, but to be transformed"(Rom. 12:2) it must be noted that many conflicts exist between Christianity and the Cultural practices among the various tribes and peoples of Nigeria.

Culture, customs And Traditions:

Tradition: is the handing down orally of stories, beliefs, customs etc from generation to generation.
Custom: refers to a usual practice or habitual way or behaviour. Habit.
Culture: is the ideas , custom, skill art etc, of a people that are transferred, communicated, or passed along as in or to succeeding generations" Hence we can talk of the the Greek, Roman, Hebrew, or African culture.
The Jewish traditional codes were compiled in two volumes- The Mishna and the Gemara; and the two were combined in one volume called the Talmud. You may recall that Jesus had many conflicts with the Jews about these traditions.(my 15:2,3,6; Mk 7:1-9;Gal 1:14).

 Cultural changes:

 culture is learned. In its widest sense, it is applied to all distinctively human activities. Culture means such activities as: using language, fighting a war, getting married, earning a living, running a government. In short, what we wear, how we walk and talk etc are dedicated by our culture. Every group, tribe, race or nation possesses a culture. It may have a unique qualities with the culture of other groups. No one has the right to judge the culture of another as inferior.

Cultural Neutrality:

Most Cultural habits and practices are neutral to the Gospel. For example: eating with hands(Delhi), chopsticks(China). The habits of each man may be very odd to the other, but such practices are not sinful in themselves.  In Nigeria, we have many examples of Cultural practices that are neutral to the Gospel. They vary from one tribe to another. For example: washing dead bodies before burial, posture of greeting- stamding or kneeling,bride price Etc. When a cultural practise is neutral to the Gospel, then the Christian is free to use his liberty to do or not to do. What may be his guide in such situation is prudence- or expediency. Every thing we do may be classified as- moral, amoral or immoral. Those that are moral are right, the immoral are wrong, and the amoral are neutral.
To be continued in subsequent write-ups.
Share:

No comments:

Post a Comment