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The beautiful thing about Christianity is that it fits into any cultural context in the world. Many accuse Christian teaching of destroying cultures, but that could not be further from the truth. True Christianity actually preserves culture and it does this in two ways.
The first way is that compared to many other cultures, a follower of Christ has much greater liberty in regard to certain types of dress or diet. Christians in any culture can preserve much of the material culture of their ancestors. How people dress, what they eat, how they build their houses, their kinship, economic structure, and so on are all valuable and unique in every culture. There are many intrinsic parts to the cultures of the world, and they should be preserved as a heritage instead of thrown away and forgotten. It is the imposed rules of false religion and outside influences that really destroy culture and pressure people to conform to a collective standard.
The second way that Christianity preserves culture is by preserving the people in the culture. Satan the enemy hates God and tries to destroy man who was created in the image of God. In order to do this, he has planted lies in every people group in the world. In the case of the tribe we work in, the people believe that evil spirits control every aspect of life and must be manipulated and appeased at every turn. They believe they must sacrifice animals and even mutilate their children in a desperate attempt to keep the spirits happy.
They also believe that their woman can become witches and can kill the men in their sleep. Also, when a young person dies, the men get together and practice divination with special leaves. They ask the leaves to reveal to them who is the witch in the village, and the leaves supposedly give them the answer. Then the whole village will turn on that woman or women and shoot them full of arrows. This happened one time in the hamlet we live in and three women were ambushed and killed. As we brought the teachings of Christ, however, the people saw that the enemy had lied to them and tricked them into killing their own mothers and daughters. Witch killing has now died out in the areas that have been affected by the gospel, and this has saved lives and is preserving the people group. The witch killing in the tribe we work in is practiced on a very small scale compared to the millions of children that have been murdered in sterile doctors’ offices in our own home country, the United States, due to abortion. The tribal context and culture in the jungle is different from my own home culture in America, but the lies are often the same and the outcome is just as devastating.
The message of the good news of Jesus Christ is foremost a message of love. Jesus suffered the death of the Cross, was placed in a burial tomb, and then was raised to life again (Acts 13:27–30; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4)! He ascended to heaven and is alive there today (Acts 1:9–11; 1 Timothy 3:16). Now, He is saving and preserving people from every tribe, nation, and tongue, and He is making all who put their faith in Him into one large global family. So as Christians, let us be about sharing the message of Christ with the world. Let us be agents of the preservation of culture and people.
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