A modern debate within the walls of churches today is the line between what is biblical and what is cultural and how they merge. When asking Christians which is the standard, most will say the Bible, yet in daily living most will choose the cultural over the Scripture in many cases. Of course not in the big sins, as if sins could be placed into categories of big and small: big being sexual sins, murder and alike; small being, lies, speeding and alike. In God’s eyes sin is sin. The question is simple, are you a Christian first or is your allegiance to the land you reside in?
Whether you’re American, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Indian etc, you’ll likely support your culture before supporting another’s. Yet if you move to a foreign country you’ll likely develop a mixture of both cultures thus being cross cultured and must then decide where you consider your home and that choice will be your dominant culturalistic loyalty. When issues arise causing a conflict, your loyalty will reside with the culture you want most to be identified with. Why then, when one becomes a Christian, is not the same method used to determine the cultural standard by which one will live ones life? We have in effect, entered into another world, the Christian world whose King is Christ Jesus and whose culture is outlined in the Holy Scriptures. At the point we become Christians we also become aliens to this world and its culture regardless of our nationality.
When and where the two cultures agree, we are free to sojourn, but when and where the cultures differ, we as Christians must give our allegiance to our new King. Just as when one becomes a part of a foreign land, one must learn to abide by the ways of that culture. An American that chooses to move to Japan, can’t expect the Japanese to operate as America, nor can the Japanese move to America and expect America to yield to the Japanese ways. Then again, if one is just visiting for a short time, there is no need to adapt ones life to the culture around them, yet one would still need to be respectful of it.
Our loyalty must be chosen: the land we live in or the Scripture we claim to adhere to. Unless of course your just visiting Christianity and have no intention of being a Christian. Just as Joshua once said, choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the land, so I now encourage you likewise: choose this day whom you will serve, the culture of your up bringing, the culture of your residence, or the culture of your faith, as for me and my house, we will serve the culture of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you Joshua, for such wise words spoken so long ago that are equally appropriate for us today.