Written by Michelle Wyatt
Psalm 2:1-2 Why do the heathen rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His anointed.
Culture clashes have occurred in history time and time again. Matthew 24:6-7 states that we will hear of “wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom…” (NKJV) We have witnessed this consistently throughout time. As in the case of Attila the Hun.
Attila the Hun was the leader of the Hunnic Empire from 434 A.D. until 453 A.D. The Romans gave him the title ‘scourge of God’ because of his brutality and the manner which he pillaged the Roman Empire. Attila was a callous man. He had a brother by the name of Bleda, together, they ruled the Hunnic Empire until 445 A.D. when Attila murdered his brother becoming the sole leader of the Huns.
Culture clashes are going to occur, but what do we do about culture clashes in the church? How are we to handle the merging of cultures as we press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus? It is the Lords will for all of us to become one new man in Yeshua. I have listened to various perspectives on this topic, and I am extremely excited that we are finally having some open dialogue, but let us be honest, this discussion cannot occur without the risk of hurt feelings, and some believing that they have been left out.
The Bible says that God’s ways are higher than our ways: but often times the people who are in charge, either by self-appointment, man’s appointment, or God’s appointment do not always see eye to eye. Arguments occur because everyone wants to be heard and appreciated. James 4:1 says, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (NKJV) James was correct. We all want to feel comfortable. We all fear the unknown, and we all want to be recognized for our achievements both individually and culturally.
For many years, there existed for me “the black church” and “the white church.” The black churches were found on one side of the railroad tracks, and the white churches were found on the other side of the railroad tracks. Every once in a while, the churches would combine congregations for a “mixed’ service. This would happen once a year. Then we would go back to business as usual. The truth is churches are pretty much still segregated today. On a typical Sunday pre-COVID-19 this was the case.
I would like to point out a trend that I have noticed while visiting various churches. That is people of color are for the most part, willing to visit predominantly white churches. Why is this? Might I also suggest the following reasons. The first reason being that white culture in America has historically been recognized as “the dominant culture.” While they may not always admit it, traditionally, they have placed a high demand on people of other languages and cultures to assimilate to their standards of beauty and conduct. On the other hand, black people or people of color have become accustomed to the comforts of fellowship with people who understand, and look like them. Not to mention, that there is a perceived safety in remaining inside of a box that the dominant culture has historically forced people of color into. Furthermore, people of color are tired of standing alone on the issues of social justice and equality in the church. I believe that this is changing.
God is ushering in His divine new order. Will there be hurt feelings? Yes. Will there be an initial sense of discomfort? Yes. How will the church handle what is to come? The answer to this question can be found in James 4:6 which states, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (NKJV)
It is high time for all of us to come out of the box. We are all going to find ourselves outside of our comfort zones in this new era. It is already happening as we speak. Turn on the news; the world as we once knew it, is changing rapidly. We cannot continue to only be connected to our own inner circle, we will need to be connected to the entire world to function and to conduct business. This is not to say that it is wrong to fellowship with people who look like you, but be open to embracing and supporting all people.
The church body as we once knew it must change, otherwise we will risk being out of date, and ineffective, or facing the scourging that Steven gave the council in the book of Acts. The council accused Steven of blasphemy because he was full of faith and power. Steven was functioning in the fullness and the authority of God. Steven then accused the council of being stiff-necked and uncircumcised in their hearts and their ears. In this new era, the color of your skin, your race or ethnicity will not matter. What will matter is whether or not you are personally filled with faith and power. Do you have the ability to hear God’s voice and obey it?
In conclusion, I would like to point out that for centuries, Jewish people did not eat meats that they considered unclean according to the old covenant. In the book of Acts 10:11-12, the Lord gave Peter a vision of 4 footed animals and birds in a sheet. Peter heard Gods voice say, “Rise Peter; kill and eat.” Peter told the Lord, “Not so Lord! I have never eaten anything uncommon or unclean.” The Lord responded by saying, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” This is what I see happening in the church today, some people don’t understand how God is moving, so they are quick to dismiss it. God wants us to get out of our box. Shortly after his dream, the Holy Spirit sent Peter to the home of Cornelius, a Roman centurion. He became the first Gentile who was converted to Christ. This is what can happen when we are in tune to God’s Holy Spirit and obey His voice. Remember Ephesians 2:14-16, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation. Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from two, this making peace….” My question for you today is: How will you handle culture clash when you see it? When you hear the voice of God pushing you out of your box, will you obey? The answers to these questions will determine our future in this new era.
History.com Editors, 2018 https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-china/huns. Accessed June 3, 2020
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