Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Roots of WARSKYL, 5

Continued from "The Roots of WARSKYL, 4"

The Apostle Peter had introduced Gentiles to the Gospel (Acts 10). Before the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem he also defended his baptizing and receiving them on an equal basis (Acts 11:15-18).

While visiting the church at Antioch, even Peter, however, succumbed to ethnic and racial pressures. The Apostle Paul writes:

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. (Gal 2:11-12)

It seems the circumcision party which swayed Peter was willing to overlook the racial differences as long as believers of Gentile stock submitted to the prevailing Judaic culture. The Pharisees -- whom Jesus had adamantly opposed (Matthew 23) -- presided over that culture.

As the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul dealt with how the various ethnic/racial groups (Italian, Greek, Celtic, etc.) of Christians related to Hebrew believers and to each other. The objective was not to merge cultures, but to transform them by "teaching them to observe all things" that Christ had commanded.

(Thus, insofar as Western Civilization is an amalgam of Christian & Roman & Greek ideas, it is NOT what Christ intends in the Great Commission, even we see it as "OURS" in some racial sense.)

To be continued.

3 comments:

Randall Gerard said...

"The objective was not to merge cultures, but to transform them by "teaching them to observe all things" that Christ had commanded."

Precisely. Well said.

Emil Bandy said...

"As the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul dealt with how the various ethnic/racial groups (Italian, Greek, Celtic, etc.) of Christians related to Hebrew believers and to each other. The objective was not to merge cultures, but to transform them by "teaching them to observe all things" that Christ had commanded."

I would argue actually that we, by observing all things that Christ had commanded, are in fact, creating a new culture in and of itself, due to the fact that 'culture' is simply an outward expression of that which you believe. So if you obey Christ, you will be creating a new culture.

If by 'culture' you mean 'racial groups', then I would agree, our SOLE purpose is not to 'merge', but at the same time, I don't quite see the purpose of even addressing that point, or making it a subject to debate... I don't see the importance of whether or not we 'merge'. Maybe I missed something along the way? :D

Gravelbelly said...

Emil, thanks for showing me that I was not being clear & giving me the chance to clarify.

I think the clarification deserves a post to itself where all will have a chance to see it.

Thanks again.