I am privileged to present some intellectual, philosophical, cultural, political and educative issue to us this evening. As a Christian Youth minister and a missionary in the making. This discuss entails me touching a little politics as regards world matters (humanity and human right), and take different stand points such as being a Christian , Jew and a Muslim. I would be so glad to bring us to a point of understanding of history and our today’s reality.
*Topic: Christianity in a multi cultural environment: OUTLINE
_Judaic-Christianity Era a little history and summary_
_Today’s reality and era_
_Migration and its role_
_The multicultural Society from a Muslim point of view_
_Common values of the Jews , Muslims and Christians_
_Q and A_
*#Judaic- Christianity Era a little history and Summary* Christianity as a religion and as a unique world view is one that can’t be isolated from her Judaic origin. This brings us to having a canonical glance at the bible. Examining the Torah, the Pentateuchs, the Chronicles, the Canticles, the Prophets and the Goodnews and the Epistles .
I wouldn’t want us to forget that Noah’s ark was the preserver of mankind. We all got separated and scattered abroad . Cultures were formed and people were raised on different continent.
Looking at the scriptures, we can see how God’s own people evolved from being multitribal to being multicultural, it started from the days of Joseph his wife wasn’t from the fold, looking at the days of Moses his father in law wasn’t Hebrew, then Joshua days was on wars and rumors of war took them from one territory to another. The escaped in Jericho the walled city made them bring in the harlot into the fold named the Rechab (Rechabite), then on their way to Ai they had some morality problem and started bringing in more few people. After the Ai’s victory the Gibeonite subtly outwitted the great Joshua and their population made their ways into the camp. Later we observed that the Israelites when there was famine left the land their fathers conquered for bread and intermarried. Such were the history of Ruth and others it went on and on . The days of great rulers like Nebuchadnezzar and co. till the days of Jesus. Jesus days was a definition on a new era and missions of men. The great civilisation was on the roman civilisations and before then were a lot that rose and fell. Then the Holy Spirit fell on Pentecost revealing that Christianity has a committed cause to multiculturalism.
TODAY’S REALITY AND ERA In the wake of the end of the cold war and ideological confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States some western ideologues and politicians are raising the spectre of another period of turmoil and conflict based this topic on religious differences.
They foresee a threat to western values and culture challenge to is recent ideological “triumph” from a resurgent Islam based on the latter’s growing numerical economic and military strength. This indeed is an ominous signal at a time when peace and co-operation is most essential.
The world today is passing through a period of rapid change.
The unprecedented proliferation of knowledge, information and technology is expanding the horizon of the world that we have long known. Globalization made possible by revolutionary developments in information and communications technology has on the one hand brought peoples and nations together and on the other made them interdependent as never before.
Problems in under-developed and war-torn countries are leading to exoduses of their people towards a better future in Europe. Although illegal immigration is rife in our time, Europe’s economy is moving to a point where it is going to need an influx of immigrants to strengthen its workforce.
*Thus, a multicultural society is today inevitable*.
Followers of the World’s greatest religions come to live together as one nation. Jews, Christians and Muslims have become neighbors literally. And this phenomenon will only grow in the future.
The question is, *can Jews, Christians and Muslims live together in peace?*
*Will they be able to live as one nation?* Or
*will there be a confrontation of values?*
*And what about the secular state, which must legislate for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike?*
*Can citizens of a secular state, who actively practice their respective religions, be active in social and political life?*
Or *will they become marginalized?*
These are the challenges, which the multicultural society must face in our time.
*#MIGRATION- AND ITS ROLE*
For the past few years, especially during the warm summer months, we have seen hundreds of migrants arriving on Europe’s and America’s shores illegally by boat. Most of them never wanted to land there, but had their sights set on mainland Europe.
The overwhelming number of arrivals had its toll on the Maltese , Caribbeans, Germans, Americans, Russians, Canadians and few other countries in Asia with open door policy to immigrants by education and war and refugees boot camping, and the issues of racism culture, religion were all brought up. This to an extent brings division amongst indigenous lawmaker to a certain extent, division regarding the issue. Opinions varied, some were extreme.
A fear that a large influx of people would change their culture and religion was and still is present. However the general idea is that the destination country maybe too small to take large numbers of immigrants, so a solution must be found for these people in other, larger, countries.
The attitude towards migration is not only defined by rational arguments. Even though we can prove that increasing migration has both a cultural and economic advantage to our society, this still does not have to lead to a different attitude towards ‘foreigners’.
We have to consider which conditions in our thinking are necessary to change our attitude towards the foreigner. The way we think about ‘foreigners’ has in essence much to do with the way we perceive ourselves.
One of the most important foundations for a policy that does not welcome the foreigner (of the restrictive foreigner’s policy) is the fear that comes from the sense of threat. The foreigner is perceived as a threat. Not only because of the number of foreigners that would arrive but more importantly because of the unknown. This implies evading a confrontation with the ‘difference’. To maintain the evasion there follows aversion, also because of a misplaced sense of superiority. We see ourselves as highly civilized and developed against others who are less civil and developed.
Chenjerai Hovc, a writer from Zimbabwe wrote: “ …. I resent living in a country where everyone thinks and says the same. That is boring. I want to see straight and crooked noses, weird, ugly and beautiful faces. That is my ideal. That is why I put colour in my work”
*#The Multicultural Society from a Muslim Point of View*
The Muslim, acknowledging one Creator, claims to sees humanity as one. Thus, to the Muslim, colour, race and language the obvious external differences within the family of man- are signs of God’s wondrous creativity, the God-ordained diversity of mankind within its overall unity. Such outward differences can never constitute a reason for either looking up to or despising another individual, for the only criteria Islam acknowledges for distinction or greatness among human beings are spiritual and moral qualities such as the excellence of a person’s character.
I highlighted this because this happen to be a point by which or from which you can start up a discussion apologetically with a Muslim. *#Judaism, Christianity and Islam Common Values*
All great near eastern religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism have a similar origin, background and historical context. Jews, Christians and Muslims all revere Abraham as a Patriarch or a great prophet. Jews, Christians and Muslims also revere Moses, while Muslims have great respect for Jesus, although Islam and Christianity differ regarding the nature of Jesus and his mission on Earth.
*Many important elements are common between Islam and Christianity. Muslims and Christians share many similar beliefs, values, moral injunctions and principles of behavior. Christians and Muslims believe in God the Creator, who is Eternal, Merciful, Forgiving and Just but at different depths.*
Jews are regarded by Muslims as ‘People of the Book’, along with Christians, because God had conveyed to them his Divine Guidance through Divine Scriptures revealed to different Prophets.
_Jews and some localized Christians lived alongside a majority of Palestinian Muslims (earthen) for hundreds of years in Palestine, and problems only started when an official Jewish state was declared on Palestinian land in 1948. Problems aggravated when, after 1967, more islands were annexed to the state of Israel. But conflicts here are not of a religious nature. This issue seems to be of recent political interest in our recent times._
Each of these three religions has played a vital role in inculcating a spirit of mutual accommodation and a sense of compassion and brotherhood among human beings irrespective of their differences in faith, colour or creed only in our modern civilisation. _This has often been a driving force for social reforms and checking oppression, injustice and exploitation._ An important contribution of religion is the promotion of a moral code and ethical principles and precepts. It has provided a global view of the world to its adherents, which traditionally remained limited to tribal and family matters.
In any case, the world has come a long way from the middle ages when religious strife and sectarian conflicts marked relations between and among different communities and disturbed peace and stability in the society.
For centuries. people of different faith lived side by side in peace and amity in the near east, south Asia, Europe and elsewhere.
No doubt, there were pockets marked by bloodshed, rivalry and competition but except for the crusades, which had their own peculiar driving force, these were essentially localized. *I can however say the later is systematized and agendaised on tables of World Power.* The Muslim and the Christian communities today constitute about 20% and 25% of the global population respectively. It would be unthinkable for such big communities to live in conflict and confrontation. Apart from the force of interdependence in an era of globalization to which reference has already been made, the emergence of what writers like V S Naipul describe as a universal civilization and cultural coming together of humanity and increasing acceptance of common values, beliefs, orientations and practices” would strongly argue against any such conflict along “fault lines” dividing civilisations. The need of the hour is to launch a concerted effort by public leaders, religious scholars, academics and civil society to highlight the common message of universal brotherhood, friendship and harmony which are the main themes of all religions and to work unitedly towards a prosperous, stable and harmonious international community. Did you observed that Even until this Point I haven’t mentioned or shared Any scripture .. ?
The proverbs are filled with Wits on how to survive in tour society…
Solomon Was at his peak when he really aimed at raising a multicultural Society. He married from far lands and we know the Result… Before I continue , I have be careful to mention the Federation where a I live because my chats can be read , since I have registered this number on whatsapp. Mentioning the country’s name is a keyword that the Feds ,FBI there uses to track terrorism acts and to do some followup on people.
Secularism started in the West as a response to ‘theocratic’ systems where the state imposed the law of Religion on its citizens so that the law of the state and religious law were one and the same.
*Secularism today makes a distinction between state and religion.* In a secular society, citizens are allowed to practice any religion, as long as the law of the state is nor broken. Also, when legislating, he government of a secular state is guided by the laws of any religion but by a set of values which, in many societies, is called a constitution. There are, however, various levels of secularism. In Malta, for example, which is a secular state, the President of the Republic has stated various times that he would not endorse a law which goes against his set of values and beliefs. And that is his right. Again in Malta divorce is illegal, even for a marriage constituted only under Maltese law. This is because the Maltese Government is Roman Catholic and divorce is prohibited in the Roman Catholic Religion. Having said the above, can citizens who practice Judaism, Christianity and Islam live in harmony with the law in a secular state?
The answer would generally be yes, because a secular state normally does not prohibit its citizens from practicing their religion freely neither does it make them do what is prohibited in their religion.
No secular state, for example, forces Jews to work on Saturday, Christians to use artificial contraception, or Muslims lo drink alcohol. Nonetheless, here are exceptions. The prohibition of girls and women wearing the Muslim headscarves in government places in France is a classic case. Here, even though a Muslim girl or woman is obliged to cover her hair according to her Religion, the state has prohibited her from doing so. This law did not affect Jews and Christians in the same manner, since Jews are not obliged to wear the star of David, neither are Christians obliged to wear crucifixes
But in the main, there is no conflict as regards religion and a secular state.
[11/12, 9:47 PM] +7 987 509-98-18: The country where I live has a limited religious right secular right. It has the history of being communist and understanding it literarily that communism was God then. But when the system fell and failed in 1991 the fathers returned writing the constitution and limiting a lot of rights .
Some of which has been rumors. Religious activities should be personal and only personal is envisaged on the secular level. You can’t talk about Christ on the street , or invite someone to church , you can’t ask someone to accept Christ as his Savior.
To preach in the church you must be registered with the government. This called for radical means of sharing the good news. Home cell units etc.
Well it was recorded in history that Russian killed its Christians and impersonated many , cause they were against the world war. That generation raised the present two and half decade generation. Secularism and impacting lives is strategic for us on this side of the world. You really need to be like the greeks to really win some. This is Christianity demands in a multicultural society.
*# APPROACHING MULTI-CULTURALISM*
There are generally three approaches to multiculturalism.
The first approach is _intolerance_ taking the extreme form of killing biologically or socially (marginalization) other cultures: or imprinting on them the *culture of the invader /colonizer/ empire builder.* Nothing compares to Western imperialism in its extreme asymmetry, imposing language, body language and religion, barely assimilating some spices and dishes into their own culture The idea of possessing the only valid faith, as in the Papal Bull of May 4, 1493, Inter Caetera set the tone; handing over territories (even yet to be discovered) to the Spanish Kings.
The second approach is _tolerance_, better than _intolerance_, but only a passive, peaceful coexistence, essentially signaling *”I am generous that I tolerate that you exist”* This opens for world of *(dominant) nation state ha tolerate each other, better than imperialism with a cultural component.* And it opens for human rights inside the states protecting ‘minorities’. The formula facilitates a transition from a multicultural world to multicultural societies. But this is not good enough in a world where different cultures will have ever broader and deeper contact. _If intolerance leads being denied, then obviously the later prevails. The dominant culture has won._ Some compromises may be carved out as small niches for one’s own culture.
The third approach _is dialogue_, based on mutual respect and curiosity like *”how wonderful that you are different from me. then we can learn from each other and maybe develop something new!” *This is not a debate which is a form of warfare with verbal means, to show that the other side is false/ wrong /bad /ugly/ profane. A major step forward for a multicultural society is with the parts seeing each other as sources of mutual enrichment.
*It is not frequent. But this active peaceful coexistence is clearly a jump forward*.
Let us Read this –
*Proverbs. 25:21-28: 26:4-5.* If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you. The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance. It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well. It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory is not glory. Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Proverbs 25:21-24, 26-28 NKJV
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:4-5 NKJV
*# Personal Experience*
– Answering crazy questions … How long would you be here ?
– Can I feel your hair ?
– Do you like our girls ?
– How does having sex feel with our girls better than with black ?
– Are you a Christian , your Christianity is not the original our Orthodoxy is the best ?
– Do you drink vodka ?
– Is your Church a sect ?
– Hey what are you saying monkey (heard this once in 4years) ?
Its endless …
I have refused to bring it to the table that the language is a key you don’t want to ever Miss it make you feel like one of those in the community. I can imagine the numbers of languages Apostle Paul knew. The was earthly relevant and heavenly focused. The goodnews of Salvation needs to be channeled in very proportionate ways to conserve the truth of Jesus’s saving Power.
*We must open our hearts and minds to each other*. Instead of sensing danger when somebody is different let us be filled with joy at the opportunity to learn, to enrich and be enriched. to live in peace and create peace.
Evangelism included circus acting , street dancing and concerts and organising Seminars called *”Alpha course”*.
As Christians , We must have a lifelong dedication to _increasing knowledge and sensitivity to major multicultural groups, by leaning about their values, customs, world views. political history and contributions to humanity._
In the emerging reality of the “global village” international peace, co-operation and understanding is a vital imperative we must strive to lead.
Like I said in the beginning a circumspect view of different Point of view will be my stance.
This alone can sustain and promote common aspirations of human kind to live a prosperous and purposeful life in peace, security and dignity.
Experiences of recent years have amply demonstrated that cooperation and understanding among nations create the environment conducive to attaining these common objectives. Equally, conflict and acrimony in any part of the world can vitiate the atmosphere even in far away lands,
Whilst keeping the basic message of devotion to Christ let us find new ways, acts and words to live together in harmony. _It is within the spirit of freedom of interpretation of one’s own religion that genuine respect for other religions can evolve._
Let the future be an era of active peace built in our hearts and our minds, and enacted in our deeds as we intently understand the right Christian values.
I drop the pen ✍🏿 here tonight …
I believe this is a Leadership Platform…
Details Are Import for Us…
And Christianity is a Detailed something…
The Power of God too is a detailed something…
*#PLP would never Die…*
Let the questions come in , either tonight or tomorrow… Remain Blessed
Sir what are the right Christian values?? And how can they be effectively practiced in this current multicultural environment
Jesus said it all , the disciple displayed it …
#high committed Christian
Would value things that in two category
#1. As regards to those in Christ
#2. As regards those that aren’t in the fold of Christ .
#be committed to the truth
#Fellowship – in the house and at the assembly
#1. Perfect in words
#2. Easy accessibility Peace loving
1.Is there a link between culture and religion, using Russia as a case study
2. How do we draw line between Christian values and cultural values
Well _culture_ is the way of life as we can define it.
_Religion_ is once choisest World view.
I would say Yes. I would need to say that culture serves you your most philosophies of life. Then correspondingly ones values are tied to these cues for living.
_Religion_ gives you a value system that is systemized. This makes religion a Support system or group.
What if I am an atheist , the culture I would have around my life must around must feed my conviction. I would also need group of people who believes the same things and We should meet often.
Remember: *Whatsoever you don’t feed dies.*
Using my country of habitation for an example , we are diverse , different Nations and Values. There are a lot of cultures here .
There are patriotic cultures that stems from the days of communist commitments.
There are national holidays that has become a culture.
There are days given to different causes Halloween, Beginning of different seasons, Christmas etc.
By the way, Christmas in this part of the world is celebrated in January and Easter is 2weeks after ours.
The culture and religion has a very strong grip on the nature of secularism. Secularism is systematised to kill religion and to elevate culture.
*#QUESTION 2 answer:*
Cultural Values are those practices that reminds us or keep save our history .
These values are _axiomatized_, no one seems to see what is wrong in it.
Many a cultural value may not be wrong using a biblical standard and few may be wrong.
Cultural values are preserved in our local proverbs , cultural songs, chieftaincy, cultural succession, dressings, languages, writings, caste system , burial rites and so on.
Christian Values are however much lighter as we have taken the yoke of Christ, we are free from yokes of cultural values in order words (Doctrines of men and those of the elders and philosophies etc).
This doesn’t mean we would demean these values. Christian has sacrificial understanding especially when relating with babes in Christ and the unregenerated. At the same time we don’t commit ourselves to these values or people who exalts the value.
Other times you must define a stand . and make it clear…
If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for everything…
Today I want us all to list Christian Values that Christ would have us hold dear and exalt.
Ask yourself why do I choose to do things this way and not that way ?
It would show you the state of your life.
Cultural Values are very beautiful.
Christian values are much more beautiful.
Be wise in striking the balance.
Note: the cultural value in a multicultural society is in two Category .
#1. Their cultural Value
#2. Your cultural Value
Read the Word of Life then your mind would be renewed to define the following (Romans 12:2);
* the good will of God
* the acceptable will of God
* the perfect will of God.
God bless you.
A christian Scientist, (Microbiologist, Molecular biologist and Molecular Geneticist). A Leader , Very Open and eagle focused , jovial and tough , demanding and Productive somebody… What I see I can Achieve…
Purpose : Raising Leading Youths in my generation. Relating Christ Life practically and making sure we all understand that we can be perfect in our Generation.
Mindset: Nondenominational, Jesus centred Libralist Christianity, Apologist.
Pivotal Life guiding Quote : The extent you know Christ is seeing in your relationship with people.
Domiciled : Mid Russia .
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