As a believer everything around you should reflect your beliefs that you’re Christian. Develop a culture or behaviour that represents who you’re and the people with whom you share those beliefs and practices with. Society and culture are intertwined, none exists without the other and yourself also can’t do without them.
You don’t exist in a vacuum, join a group in order to survive. Remember the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). And Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is ; but exhorting one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
The reason we live together is because almost every human behaviour is learned and adopted from other people of the same society. For instance the way people view marriage depends largely on what they’ve been brought up or taught. Behaviour based on learned custom is not a bad thing. Even Jesus, “when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” (Luke 2:42). Galatians 4:1-6 says, “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
But as Christian believers we’ve our own cultural ideals consisting of our ideas, attitudes and beliefs. That observe and do because those are the values that make up our Christian faith. As a Christian you should know those elements and forces that shape up our culture, society or faith. Probably let’s discuss these next time so that you won’t follow every wind of doctrine.
Good nyt folks,
A problem of our day
Many refuse to commit themselves to a church, why do believers refuse to commit to membership?
Every Christian should be a committed part of a local body. Those converted in the book of Acts were added to particular local churches, (Acts 2:41, 47).
You don’t operate in vacuum.
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” Matthew 3:13-15
Every believer is to be under the oversight and discipline of particular elders who need to know for which sheep they are accountable. (He. 13:17, I Pet. 5:2-3 I Th. 5:12-13). You are to love a local body of believers and use your gifts to benefit it. If you are not committed and accountable, your opportunity to use your gifts will be significantly diminished. The reason we join a fellowship is so that we may preserve the unity and purity of the church through following biblical principles or values.
Values are standards by which we discern that which is good, just and acceptable before God. They help us shape who we are by suggesting to us what is good and evil, beautiful and ugly, or should be sought or be avoided. If we’ve no values then we’ve not the means to transmit and teach our beliefs. Beliefs are the tenets or convictions that we as believers hold as true. As believers we each have specific beliefs, but we also share collective values with other believers who may not belong to our fold.
Anyway, why should you join a fellowship? To fulfil all righteousness; “suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” And yourself also, do ye likewise!
Elements and Forces that shape up our faith.
I started by saying as a believer everything around you should reflect your beliefs that you’re Christian. Then I said develop a culture or behaviour that best represent who you’re and the people with whom you share those beliefs and practices with. I also promised to discuss with you those elements and forces that shape up our culture, society or faith.
The first, and perhaps most crucial, elements which I touched above, (or on my previous post) are our values and beliefs.
Values often suggest how people should behave, but they don’t accurately reflect how people do behave. For example praying portray an ideal culture any believer would like to embrace and live up to. But ideal culture differs from real culture, rake for instance the way believers actually do pray. In ideal culture, there should be no injustices, poverty, sickness or diseases among Christians but in real culture, daily we struggle or strive for mastery. We strive to put values or into action, so what could be wrong?
Don’t bank on values alone because they are not static, these vary from culture to culture. Values made Pharisees to ask questions like these, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? (Matthew 9:11). “Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” (Mark 7:5). The problem is they had defined what to them was good, right and acceptable and most members of their society adhered to them. You faith shouldn’t be based on cultural values or which lineage Jesus came through. It is however not a bad thing to have have values, my argument though is let those values be written rules or values such as taught through our faith. The problem with Pharisees is they had devised their own values – behaviours worked out and agreed upon in order to suit and serve their own lusts. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says,
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Our Christian Faith
Any society needs culture to exist.
Earlier I said culture is comprised of all the practices, beliefs and behaviours of our Christian faith. Cultural norms function to support the faith, and cultural values guide believers in making choices. Do believers know which cultural values to hold? “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Just as members of this faith we work together to fulfil our society’s needs, and culture also exists to meet our basic needs.
It is important to note inequalities also exists within any culture’s value system, and some are practiced at the expense of others, and doctrines of men, “which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Colossians 2:23
Anyway my argument here is you don’t exist alone in a vacuum. But while we may like to consider ourselves individuals, we must acknowledge the impact of culture, that we are a family, and members of one body.
Is your church group right for you?
I have advocated that you belong to a church fellowship, but the question still remains which one?
There are thousands of Church fellowships of different sizes worldover; some ideal but others not of course, so beware! Some groups are united by their shared experiences, and others by ethnicity, customs or race. Others also because they are cults, just there to defy larger groups, they develop their own set of rules and norms to live by – rules created that they can operate outside of the greater society. Watch out for motives too, why that church was formed, “the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:18).
The one you choose should be one with the culture, custom, values, standards which are good, just and acceptable before God, and “…that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, and teachers of good things” (Titus 2:3). A fellowship is a group of believers sharing a community and culture. Culture is about the shared behaviours and beliefs to include spiritual, material and immaterial, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
But always be on high alert – beware of wolves. “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” Jude 1:12-13
All grace, and good nyt,