How much of our Christianity is influenced by American culture?
On this week’s episode of Trending Faith, Dean of the College of Theology Jason Hiles, PhD, began the discussion by saying everyone, no matter where they come from, starts somewhere culturally. Even Jesus was influenced by culture during His time here on Earth. He would use parables that presented the Kingdom of God based on things the people of the culture knew and could identify with.
The same concept applies today, as we all look through a set of cultural lenses that influence the way we see the world. However, when we look deeper, the foundations of Christianity are not only cultural reflections.
Our culture gives us a starting point, but it is by no means the end of the story. We must press beyond our cultural influences and come to know Jesus on a personal level, so we can understand His teachings and live in a way that is honorable to Him.
Even though we have all come from different cultures and backgrounds, we must learn to listen to Jesus above all else. As Christians, we are trying to come to know Jesus in a relational way.
Dean of Students and GCU Pastor Tim Griffin discussed how, when traveling to different parts of the world and experiencing different cultures, one can see that God’s people express their faith in different ways. It is easy for us to become accustomed to our way of doing things, but it is important to realize things were done differently in the past and are done differently across cultures.
Ultimately, while there is a subjective dimension of the Christian faith, there is also something objective that allows us to come to know God, the source of all goodness. While our responses to the Creator of the universe may vary across cultures, we all have the opportunity to be in a personal relationship with Him.
To hear the full discussion, watch the video below:
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.