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Culture Is King September 15, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.
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Anthropologists, archeologists and corporate motivational speakers often quote the phrase “culture is king”.  What is the meaning of this phrase?  The point often being made by this phrase is that the core values of the culture you grew up in shape every decision you make.  If you are trying to understand what is going on with a particular society or individual you need to understand the culture they are immersed in.  This is especially true if what is going on is puzzling to you.  Often people from one culture do not understand people from another culture.

For people searching for God and the truth, the culture is always working against you.  Let me explain what I mean.  Our lives more often than not are directed by the culture we grew up in rather than an understanding of the truth.  A problem arises when the truth does not agree with the culture.  I’ll give you an example from my own life.  I was born into a catholic family and therefore as an infant I was “baptized” by water being sprinkled on my tiny head.  As my spiritual studies brought me to the truth about baptism, that it is something one must decide to do and is by immersion rather than sprinkling, it still took me quite some time to get it, the error of my culture obscured the truth from me.  I finally got it with the help of some persistent teachers.  But it wasn’t easy.  Now as I try to instruct others I am encountering the same difficulty with family and friends raised in the same culture.  The culture is still working against me.

It is so very hard for people to realize that something we have always believed to be true is indeed false.  A major theme of the Bible is that cultures and religions are always wandering away from God.  This happens naturally and a constant and specific effort must be made to keep in step with God.  So if you begin a study of spirituality, no matter what culture you grew up with, that culture is always working against you.  This is especially true for cultures who appear on the surface to be based on spiritual values.  Looking again at my personal example;  In the culture I grew up in, the false teaching on baptism was represented as being God’s instruction.  This made it so difficult to focus on the fact that it was false.    

Culture is king.  Each of us must deal with the happenstance and hodgepodge of our own understanding.  We must each rise above the tyranny of our collective upbringing in order to embrace the truth.  This is vitally important to our spiritual life and maturity.  Culture is king, but it should not be that way.  The truth should rule. 

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