It’s not always about culture.
(1) “Culture skill” is a “soft skill,” so people say. It’s not part of the business portfolio, or at least not a very important part. I get this argument, but of course I think it’s a mistake to think like this.
(2) People also say Christianity seems not to be culture-specific, so a disciple-making program that accompanies BAM should focus on key theological beliefs, not the cultural stuff. I get this argument too, and again I argue that it’s a mistake to think that God hasn’t shaped the gospel (faith and practice) to address and fit with various cultures.
BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT CULTURE:
The other day I was talking to Kahlil and he was telling me about people he hates. I can relate to that. He’s from the Middle East and I’m from Baltimore (the East Coast). We don’t hate the same people, but we hate people for some of the same reasons. Nothing cultural there.
The same thing goes for hammers, being hungry, having to work, and loving your mother.
In fact the list of culturally unbiased items, needs, tasks, obligations, and relationships seems endless: sports, politics, bosses, spouses, children, fools, connivers, and wise persons, taxes, the daily grind, and seeking a little bit of comfort. These things are universal.
The Bible is full of the universality of life:
◊ “The poor you always have with you.”
◊ “There is nothing new under the sun.”
◊ “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
◊ “All have sinned and fallen short.”
◊ “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
There is no cultural bias in those words. God gives them to us all.
There is more:
> God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them.
> Love your neighbor.
> Never be wise in your own sight.
> Through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
> The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you.
Business-as-Mission in the Other culture is NOT always about culture.
There is something wonderfully, universally “not about cultural” about it.