Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Respect the culture of the house you enter.

When we were working in China, we learnt that we had to respect the culture of the house we entered otherwise we offended people. For example, if we entered a Tibetans home, we did not take off our shoes or the souls of our feet never pointed to people out of respect of the people as it would cause offence. But in a Chinese or a Koreans home, we took off our shoes at the door. It took some adjusting but after time we got used to the different ways, and although initially we couldn't understand why this was so and often criticised the other culture from doing things different than our home, over the time we learnt why and understood the differences and learnt to appreciate them and love the people.

This morning The Lord is showing me and I believe this is a word for the family of Christ, that when we willingly choose to enter another church then we need to respect the culture that is in that house and honour it. Although it may be different from my own, it is not my place to criticise or judge it and over time will learn why the culture is the way it is. He also showed me that those who enter our house, our church, also too come willingly and freely and in so doing have given the head of the house permission to speak into their lives. What they do with that is their free choice but in entering the house, then they have chosen to come under that authority in that house as I did in entering a Chinese or a Tibetan's home, as I do when I enter another church. That you respect the head of that house and in so doing, honour what they bring even if you don't agree with it. It is up to you what you do with that.

Like China, there are more than 56 recognised people groups yet all one country, all express themselves differently and uniquely. It does not make them invalid and not a part of China because they are a minority people group, but still are considered Chinese. So too in the body of Christ, many different unique expressions of people groups, yet all still Christian and believers and lovers of God. Lets honour the different houses, churches of Christ, and although different, lets not criticise and judge the other and in so doing consider ourselves better than the other.