Friday, November 6, 2015
My Trip to Egypt (part 5) – Biblical Culture Trumps All Other Cultures
Friday, November 6, 2015 was another long day of ministry. 6 workshops for 1.5 hours each for the 2nd day in a row. Of course, when you love to teach what you are passionate about, it doesn’t wear you down. And Tim Brown was helping me and teaching quite effectively. We were now feeling much more comfortable in our surroundings as the students were more acquainted with us. It was a time of intimate fellowship. People were speaking their best English to us and we were so thankful. We took pics of us with the Egyptian students and shared pics of our families. Again, very precious relationships happen quickly across cultures when you have Christ in common.
As we were teaching the Bible, it is very convicting how much our American culture and the Egyptian cultures clash with the principles in Scripture. When the Bible says that we have three enemies, the world’s system, Satan, and our flesh, I have always underestimated the world’s system as one of my enemies. I mean, I recognize Satan as an enemy and even my own flesh; however, the world’s system is the one I thought I had beaten. After all, how difficult can that enemy be to defeat since all I have to do is say “no thanks” to what the world has to offer in regard to what is explicitly sinful according to the Bible? Well, what I realized was that the world’s system is the culture and how it influences us to think about our world, other people, and God. That really is not easily overcome at all.
When we study the Bible and especially what Jesus taught in the Gospels, we learn how very counter-culture He was in His own nation of Hebrews and extended to American and Egyptian culture. Every culture has areas that glaringly demonstrate an anti-Christ way of thought. It is more difficult to see our own culture than that of another culture. I believe the Egyptian students see the areas of weakness in American culture more easily than I do because I am immersed in it. I don’t have the outside perspective that they possess. Likewise, I can see their deficiencies better than I see my own.
If nothing else, this trip helped me to see how immersed I am in American thinking and behaving that can be unbiblical and how accepting of it I am because I am in it. Instead, I must try to step out of my culture, evaluate it biblically, and then make decisions that would bring honor to Christ. Biblical culture must trump anything that does not line up with the Holy Scriptures. It was a very good reminder.
-Mark (loving the fact that biblical culture is the standard for all cultures uniting Christ-followers)