With the ongoing tension arising because of the bellicose provocations from North Korea, many believers are pondering whether it would be moral for the USA to initiate a pre-emptive strike. The objective of course would be to protect American lives in the same way it would be moral for a police officer to shoot a person armed with a gun about to kill an innocent person. Of course there are many things to consider as a believer and as a rational human being.
It is my intention in this article, to show the relationship between theological formation in the church and its particular culture and contemporary movements. By culture we mean the language, arts, habits, values, currency, and aspirations of a people group, a community, city or nation.
To start this article — I will say up front that God is not colored blind and neither should we be.
God created humankind as a beautiful mosaic of colors, personalities, and various cultures (replete with divergent modes of dress, food, currency, ways of living and perceptual values).
However, not everything in every culture is healthy, godly, and/or compatible with Christian values.
It has been evident to numerous biblical scholars that often (if not most of the time) believers (including preachers) interpret the Bible through the lens of their culture. This has resulted in many beliefs, doctrines and practices prevalent in the church that are not in accord with the clear teaching of Scripture. Sadly this is often the case with the Evangelical church in the United States. Since the U.S. is so influential, American Evangelicals have also exported a gospel replete with an American cultural paradigm that is not in line with the Hebraic paradigm of Scripture. Consequently, sometimes in the U.S. pulpit, preaching can sound more like the “American Dream” than sound, biblical teaching.
A couple of years ago, my dear friend Bishop Harry Jackson called a few leaders and discussed his plans to initiate an event to deal with the issue of the worsening racial divide in America. The result was “The Reconciled Church” event on January 15 (providentially the date of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday), which was hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes in the Potter’s House church in Dallas, Texas.
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