Culture or Faith?

General Christian Theology
Sudsy
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Sudsy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:32 pm

JimFoxvog wrote:
YorkandAdams wrote:There are some of us who happen to like the cultural aspect of conservative anabaptism almost as much as we "like" the faith aspect (I don't have a better word then "like" at the moment). We see the womens dresses, coverings, exc.. and realize that there is beauty to the application. Not sure how much I would be able to distinguish the male equivelant, but in some areas I am sure you can. Now the reason it is done is because of our faith (or should be anyway). If the applications that are done end up forming a culture, then where should the line be drawn. At what point do you classify culture. Could we say that men wearing only long pants is a cultural?

Yes, men wearing only long pants is cultural. I think it is OK to have a subculture. The important thing is to understand it is different from our faith, even if it proceeds from our faith. Then we can accept, even celebrate the diversity in the body of Christ.


Amen to accepting and celebrating the diversity in the body of Christ. One part cannot say it has no need of another part. Our aim is to be at harmony with one another in this diversity so that the world will see our common love for Christ. Not to condemn one another or look down upon one another as it says in Romans 14.
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YorkandAdams
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby YorkandAdams » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:41 am

Sudsy wrote: Amen to accepting and celebrating the diversity in the body of Christ. One part cannot say it has no need of another part. Our aim is to be at harmony with one another in this diversity so that the world will see our common love for Christ. Not to condemn one another or look down upon one another as it says in Romans 14.


Thanks for mentioning Romans 14. I actually had to go back and reread it. Verses 12 and 13 stood out to me.

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

At the end of the day, I am responsible for myself and my account to God. If I don't live out the applications in the way that God has convicted me, then I will be held responsible. Now rejecting commandments is a whole different beast. Throwing off the covering because you don't feel a "conviction" is not acceptable. I think most on the board would agree with me on this. We must follow biblical commandments, but how we follow them will depend on our convictions. These convictions lead to the application.

Now being in a group of like minded people with similar applications will lead to a culture of its own. It's unavoidable. My prayer is that we don't forget that God puts different convictions on peoples hearts. As long as they are following the commandments, then I am happy to call them a brother or sister in Christ even if I don't agree on the applications.
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Sudsy
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Sudsy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:21 am

YorkandAdams wrote:
Sudsy wrote: Amen to accepting and celebrating the diversity in the body of Christ. One part cannot say it has no need of another part. Our aim is to be at harmony with one another in this diversity so that the world will see our common love for Christ. Not to condemn one another or look down upon one another as it says in Romans 14.


Thanks for mentioning Romans 14. I actually had to go back and reread it. Verses 12 and 13 stood out to me.

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

At the end of the day, I am responsible for myself and my account to God. If I don't live out the applications in the way that God has convicted me, then I will be held responsible. Now rejecting commandments is a whole different beast. Throwing off the covering because you don't feel a "conviction" is not acceptable. I think most on the board would agree with me on this. We must follow biblical commandments, but how we follow them will depend on our convictions. These convictions lead to the application.

Now being in a group of like minded people with similar applications will lead to a culture of its own. It's unavoidable. My prayer is that we don't forget that God puts different convictions on peoples hearts. As long as they are following the commandments, then I am happy to call them a brother or sister in Christ even if I don't agree on the applications.


For clarity to understand your example on 'the covering' are you saying that if a wife wears a wedding band on her finger as her application today of what Paul was getting at in that setting, then you would be happy to call them a sister in Christ ?

I think 'following the commandments' can be quite interpretive and can be very hard to agree with certain arguments when the commandment is not applied literally but on principle. For instance, some believe water baptism in the NT strictly means immersion and is backed up by what Paul indicated it symbolizes. Others believe water baptism to also be a commandment to be followed but for them some other form than immersion is acceptable regardless of how Paul pictured it. Most Anabaptists I know still consider one another as in the family of God regardless of which way water baptism is applied. And then there are commandments, like sell all and give the money to the poor, that is mainly considered to only be an immediate audience application and has little to no further application.

I do think we should take commandments very seriously and prayerfully for any application either literally or in principle or if they were not meant for everyone.
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Josh
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Josh » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:41 pm

Bootstrap wrote:I worry that any cultural Christianity might become wineskin Christianity. Do plain Anabaptists have ways of protecting against that danger?


Holdemans spend a lot of time in the pulpit preaching against the dangers of that, although I'm not sure that method is necessarily effective. There does seem to be a significant part of our culture that is dedicated to not being too cultural.
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Ernie
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Ernie » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:17 pm

Josh wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:I worry that any cultural Christianity might become wineskin Christianity. Do plain Anabaptists have ways of protecting against that danger?


Holdemans spend a lot of time in the pulpit preaching against the dangers of that, although I'm not sure that method is necessarily effective. There does seem to be a significant part of our culture that is dedicated to not being too cultural.


But ironically those who are dedicated to not being too cultural are often those who set up a different culture that is just as exclusive of anyone who doesn't think like them.

Since setting up a culture is part of being human, my vote is to make the culture as good as we can, rather than try to convince ourselves that we don't have one or believe in one.
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Corporate worship, mutual aid, fellowship and mutual accountability characterize this community. An individualistic or self centered Anabaptism is a contradiction in terms. - Kevin Daugherty

YorkandAdams
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby YorkandAdams » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:15 pm

Sudsy wrote:
I do think we should take commandments very seriously and prayerfully for any application either literally or in principle or if they were not meant for everyone.


Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. I guess I should clarify further on the commandment issue.

I don't feel comfortable calling someone a brother or sister if (in my opinion) they are in direct violation of biblical commandments. I view that as living in sin or a rebellious heart.The wearing of the covering (in my opinion) is commandment based.A refusal to live in biblical submission is sin.
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Sudsy
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Sudsy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:03 pm

YorkandAdams wrote:
Sudsy wrote:
I do think we should take commandments very seriously and prayerfully for any application either literally or in principle or if they were not meant for everyone.


Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. I guess I should clarify further on the commandment issue.

I don't feel comfortable calling someone a brother or sister if (in my opinion) they are in direct violation of biblical commandments. I view that as living in sin or a rebellious heart.The wearing of the covering (in my opinion) is commandment based.A refusal to live in biblical submission is sin.


Yes, I feel that way about rebellious men who don't lift their hands when they pray as commanded in scripture. :) Not really, I don't view these actions as necessarily in rebellion but could be another way a commandment is understood and followed. Whether we are willing to admit it or not (in my opinion) we all are 'living in sin' and are rebelling in various ways of either sins of commission or sins of omission. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8. I also would allow for space or spiritual growth (and hope they do for me) in areas of learning obedience and still consider them family members.

My question is at what point are we allowing 'leaven' into the church by someone's sinning affecting others and determining that we should not consider others as family members ? Although we have an example in the Corinthian church, we all don't agree on where disobedience is happening to the point of not recognizing each other as still part of the family. These 'cultures' seem to me to often be the attempt at defining what is allowable sinning and what is not.
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YorkandAdams
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby YorkandAdams » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:21 pm

Sudsy wrote:These 'cultures' seem to me to often be the attempt at defining what is allowable sinning and what is not.


That's a really interesting way of putting it! :laugh I often feel some of the areas we should address are not considered necessary due to the tradition. We do need to be vigilant in finding the areas where we should be adjusting our lives.

As for the commandments issue, I know we are going to butt heads on what is and isn't a commandment. My prayer would be that we don't discard commandments without a strong analysis as to the reason for the change. Is it because we have new evidence as to what the context was, or is it because we want to be closer to the world. My experience is that it is usually for the latter.
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Ernie
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Ernie » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:54 am

KingdomBuilder wrote:Obviously one could argue the point that Christianity is indeed a culture (or at least subculture), but what I'm talking about is the deliberate clinging to ethnic and social cultural aspects.

Our identity is supposed to be in Christ- not the geographical region of Europe from which we came, not our traditional occupations/ past times, not our ancestors language, and most importantly, not solely with people who share these aforementioned things with us.


Deliberate clinging to ethnic aspects is something very human. People groups all over the planet do this naturally. The NT writers encourage us to mature out of this.

Occupations? That is going to depend on where a person lives. If a person grows up in a farming community, that is likely what he is going to gravitate toward. If a person grows up in the suburbs or city, he is going to gravitate towards the trades or professions. I don't see anything wrong with this. The early Anabaptists started out as college students, but before long they were barred from college so they took their gospel to the farmers and tradesmen. Some things just evolve all under the sovereignty of God.
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Corporate worship, mutual aid, fellowship and mutual accountability characterize this community. An individualistic or self centered Anabaptism is a contradiction in terms. - Kevin Daugherty

Valerie
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Re: Culture or Faith?

Postby Valerie » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:32 am

YorkandAdams wrote:
Sudsy wrote:These 'cultures' seem to me to often be the attempt at defining what is allowable sinning and what is not.


That's a really interesting way of putting it! :laugh I often feel some of the areas we should address are not considered necessary due to the tradition. We do need to be vigilant in finding the areas where we should be adjusting our lives.

As for the commandments issue, I know we are going to butt heads on what is and isn't a commandment. My prayer would be that we don't discard commandments without a strong analysis as to the reason for the change. Is it because we have new evidence as to what the context was, or is it because we want to be closer to the world. My experience is that it is usually for the latter.


I agree with you wholeheartedly on this-all of it- including your experience and would add my observation seems to lean that way as well-
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