Real Independence

During my years of traditional divinity studies and work, I often read firm statements that following Christ must rise above culture. The idea was that it is somehow pan-cultural, something that should fit into any cultural context. It’s above culture.

This is pure nonsense. First, notice how it strips away the very potent cultural context into which Christ was born, sent by God to pull people back into that very ancient cultural context as the sole means of living justly in Creation. In place of that culture, it allows Western theologians to inject their own culture quite blindly. They are encouraged to pretend that their own cultural background arises from this purified non-culture, and is therefore superior to any other culture that arose some other way.

This is why missionary activities are almost uniformly aimed at bringing a culture shift, reshaping the indigenous folks into some brand of Western culture. This becomes the definition of “Christian” for the non-Western world. It all makes it easy to ignore how very much Paul’s letters push a restoration of divine justice in this world by promoting a very ancient cultural orientation. This is how we get to the place where modern commentators insist that “Christian” means what amounts to a very medieval Germanic lifestyle with modern accoutrements.

Let’s be honest: What the Bible actually promotes finds few modern parallels. Perhaps the closest parallel is the Pashtun Way (Pashtunwali). I’ll let you look that up for yourself if you are interested. It’s not that the Pashtuns are a biblical society, but that there is a close parallel. If you seek the heart-led way of walking in Biblical Law, you’ll quickly recognize many elements of the Pashtun Way.

It’s not that there is no such thing as a genuine Christian Culture. It’s that almost no one rising up to proclaim their “Christian Culture” is close to what the Bible actually promotes. This is part of what Radix Fidem is about — it’s not so much a religion per se, but an approach to building genuine religion against the bogus background we have now.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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2 Responses to Real Independence

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    Interesting video I’m watching now about Pashtun’s possible Hebrew origins:

    Not that the genetic lineage per se matters in this case, but still an interesting tidbit if true.

    I’ve noticed casually that Bedouin and some indigenous cultures share similarities with ancient Hebrews. Some gypsie and Amish/Quaker cultural elements have parallels as well. Most people would associate it with low technology and primitive living, but that’s not really understanding the main point. Some cultures might emphasize shunning modern devices, but a heart-led Christian today would just recognize technology as just another tool at hand.


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    Quite so, Jay. A tool is a tool if God says through your heart “use this.” The shared elements in biblical and Pashtun and Bedouin cultures is things like hospitality and refuge, loyalty to family and tribe, holding one’s dominion boundaries sacred yet fluid, the dignity of living things, the sense of justice woven into the fabric of the universe, etc.


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