Genifer, yes I do understand and agree with everything you said. There is much evidence in the Bible that there is a price to be paid for following the Lord. My family did persecute me when I received the Lord Jesus and began to follow Him. Of course the persecution was emotional and not a physical threat.
Individuals may come to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and still hold onto their cultural things, but this presents a big problem in the church. The problem with holding onto your culture can cause divisions in the body of Christ. Their are verses addressing this if any one wants them. Christianity is so divided and many times it has to do with race and culture. Christ did not intend for His body to be divided. It is because people, in general, (not talking about narrow mindedness and open mindedess per se) like to hang out with people who are similiar.
Please don't misunderstand me. I love all people regardless of race and culture. However, if race and culture are going to divide me from my brother or sister in Christ, then I must drop my culture to be one with them. I said 'I' must drop MY culture to be one with my brother or sister in Christ. I didn't say that THEY had to drop their culture. I can receive any one of any culture. I will embrace them and love them. I will not insist they do things my way. I am simply pointing out that culture causes divisions among the body of Christ, which is the church.
Trying to think of an expample...
In my culture, we are taught to put the food away quickly after eating or you may get sick from the bacteria. In another culture, they aren't so worried about it and have no problem leaving food out for hours. If I hold on to 'my way' and cause arguments and division, then I have a problem with my sister in Christ. I may get offended with her and cause a problem. I have to let it go and let the food stay out without offense. In Christ, we are not allowed to remain offended and not deal with ourselves and the Lord. To do this, I need the Lord, who lives in me, to be my forebearance toward my sister. In myself, I have no forebearance, but Christ in me is full of forebearance.
Originally Posted by umsami
... As Gandhi famously said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." He also talks about how in the West, often among Christians, there is a "missing Father." People talk a lot about Jesus--but not a lot about God/the Father.
I think that one of the main reasons that Christians are seen as unChrist like is the gospel of damnation that has unfortunately been a focal point. The "your going to go to hell if you don't believe type gospel" turned me off, too. I used to tell my aunt, I don't want any part of that kind of God.
Finally, I heard that God in Christ wants to dispense Himself into your being so that He may grow in you, supply you, be your peace and rest, and finally be expressed through you. God (Jesus) wants to make His home in your heart.
So, I said okay, I'm listening now.
Kid woke up gotta go fast