At lunch today I was discussing Warm and Cold cultures with a couple of friends. I find it interesting, the differences in culture as related to whether that culture is from a warm or cold geographical zone. I am pondering whether the differences are due to the geography or the beliefs about dependence versus independence. There seems to be a correlation between Warm Culture and community based thinking. There also seems to be a correlation between Cold Culture and independence based thinking.
Read about it here: http://www.ubahouston.org/filerequest/5452
This is a summary paper about a book on the subject.
I would like to propose that Followers of Jesus Christ may need to begin to learn a new culture. We tend to stick within our perceived cultural boundaries, and for good reason. It helps us to know who we are and what is considered to be appropriate behavior. It tells us where we belong in this world.
Culture is filled with beliefs that do not line up with what the scripture teaches us about who we are and where we belong. Perhaps that is because we do not belong in this world. If we were to live with a biblical culture perspective, I believe, we would behave differently toward each other. We would be warm culture minded in relationship and cold culture minded in duty while working out the wrinkles that hold us back spiritually.
Scripture clearly teaches us what our Spiritual culture is supposed to be.
1. We are to be in relationship with God being taught and guided by the Holy Spirit in our inner being.
2. We are to be in relationship with each other, helping each other to grow in Christ and encouraging, exhorting and loving each other.
3. We are to be honest in all our dealings with God, humans and our own hearts.
4. We are not supposed to tolerate sin in our own hearts.
5. We are to help others to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
6. We are to serve God and others
7. We are to be patient and kind
8. And many other things which define us as being of the family of God, in fellowship with God, loving God enough to serve him and others with our whole heart.
There are so many aspects to the teaching of what our heavenly kingdom is and who we are in it. But too often, we respond to life from an earthly culture perspective. That is because we do not yet believe in our innermost being, that we are born into the culture of the kingdom of heaven. We are like people who visit a country that has a culture that is foreign to us. We do not seem to know how to behave and become who God says we are.
The only thing that hinders us is our belief in who we are in Christ. We believe we are in this world and must therefore behave like we are of this world. That is false. We are ambassadors of God’s kingdom to this world. An ambassador must believe in the country or kingdom he represents in order to be effective while not in his country/kingdom. He must know who he is in relationship to his leader/king. He must behave in a way that truly represents his king. It is not his duty to become like the people of the culture or country he visits though he must respect the people and learn how to relate to them appropriately.
Who are we? Who do we serve?
These questions will tell us if we are living from the mindset of an earthly culture or a heavenly culture. As our earthly culture grows darker and darker, it is so important for us to remember who we are in Christ and to be obedient to Him. He is our king, lord and master. It is easy to get side tracked and lose sight of who we are in Christ. We do live in a dark world. It takes self discipline to keep truth in our thoughts as we face the challenges of living here. That is why application of kingdom culture is just as important as the knowledge of kingdom culture. You cannot apply what you do not know.
Study the word of God as if it is a kingdom culture primer, teaching us who we are and how we must behave. Application of this knowledge will help you to know in your heart where you belong as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Blessings to you as you seek Him and engage in this challenge with me.