discipleship decides diction.

Culture clashes give us a chance to learn and be patient.

When you grow up in a certain culture you often come to conclusions  
that yours is the right culture. You grow up calling vegetables a  
certain name, items of clothing have unique labels, times of the day,  
pronunciation of the words, what is and isn’t polite are trained  
into you from birth. Most of the world finds themselves staying in  
that culture the rest of their lives. Deeply ingrained into them are  
the manners and social rules of their culture, and they learn them well.

There is an interesting happening when two cultures, deeply ingrained  
into individuals meet and begin to clash. Their truths don’t mesh,  
their differences begin subtly but then become a loud roar that  
threatens to murder any chance at friendship.

I have lived with Americans for a lot of my life. My Dad, being a  
pastor for 30 years, invited many a missionary team from American  
universities. Looking up to these amazing Godly individuals I would  
occasionally take on a subtle American accent. And the shock and  
embarrassment of the moments where it came out in conversation was  
almost unbearable. Australians aren’t the biggest fan of other  
cultures changing theirs, even though we are quite a multi-cultural  
nation. We like who we are. We are patriotic but only to the extent  
of getting southern cross tattoos. We still don’t know the words to  
the national anthem.

So when I moved into a house of both Americans, Canadians, islanders,  
and Europeans the culture clashes began getting a lot more frequent. You  
would be chatting with a European and they would say something  
horrifically blunt as if they gently affirmed you. Americans would  
violently begin arguments about how they speak English and Hawaiians  
would “borrow” all your clothes and you would never see them again. I  
speak tongue and cheek to illustrate that God celebrates culture. God  
celebrates creativity and unique abilities to live life in community.

Culture clashes give us a chance to learn and be patient. Culture  
clashes like marriage makes us more holy, crafting us into people who  
celebrate others even in disagreement. I can agree that color is  
indeed an easier way to spell that word. But the English language  
dictates that is spelled colour.

On a Discipleship Training School and living life in missions you are  
living mostly in cultures that are not your own. You ware walking into  
communities that have their own social rules. And we can learn how to  
adapt and celebrate or we can continue in being an outsider alienating  
people in their own space. God’s heart is that we are hospitable, that  
we make space even in other people’s spaces for them.

But further more, the kingdom of God has a culture of its own that can  
be produced in and through any culture on the planet. Christ the  
ultimate redeemer, justifies all.


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