Week 2: Introduction to Culture Specific Evangelism (part 2) April 19-25

  • View Week Two Video (Dr. Daniel Kikawa).
  • Read through and play Game #1 in The Cross-Cultural Evangelism Game. If possible, use the workbook in a group-learning experience.
  • Pray daily for Japan and Japanese, using Operation Japan.
  • Post thoughts and questions online.

Questions

  • 2

    Joze (Week 2) Reflection

    Joze

    Interesting game, Kikawa-sensei! They are very thought-provoking and the comments on each were insightful. For one thing, I’d either forgotten or suppressed the memories of learning about the pagan roots of some of the current “Christian practices” like the Easter egg hunt, Christmas trees, etc. I appreciate your approach of the fundamental anthropological practice of cultural relativity – giving the other culture the benefit of the doubt in their cultural practices while also looking critically at one’s own cultural norms. Even though it’s natural and normal to judge another culture, it’s important for the sake of the Gospel to resist this urge to do so. Otherwise, we’d be building walls rather than bridges.

    • Tim Wang

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jose. I thought question 2 was the most challenging, because of the foul smelling drink. What do you do when you don’t know what’s in it? Yet understanding hospitality culture is huge part of missions.

    • randyloubier

      Likewise, I had a problem with the foul smelling drink too! I don’t drink alcohol and wondered how I would handle that situation. Would I ask and refuse if it contained alcohol?

  • 3

    What helps missionaries with making on-the-spot decisions with much uncertainty?

    Tim Wang

    Facing situations of uncertainty seem to pervade the ethos of missions. It seems to me that the biblical principles from 1 Corinthians 9-10 will help any missionary with crossing cultures. More specifically, 1 Cor 10:26-30 seems to me to suggest that where there’s merely a cognitive possibility, then you can partake if you so choose (e.g. in a welcome dinner or rite), but when it’s clear to you that something is explicitly for demons (v. 28), then a Christian should not partake. On the other hand, getting along with other Christians with different views might be just as much as a challenge as getting along with unbelievers.

    • randyloubier

      I had the same thoughts about Christians getting along with other Christians. We beat each other up over the littlest details of theology, dogma and ritual within our faith. Since I came to Christ late in life, one of the first things I noticed was the lack of unity in Christianity. Some people make it their purpose to beat up other Christians. Divided kingdoms fall. It’s crazy we don’t see this. Not a wonder why Christianity is in decline.

    • Tim Wang

      Thanks Randy for the comment. That’s a good thought for me to practice too.

    • Brandalyn

      And I am sure that many (us included) pray for grace and protection when we are entering into something that we don’t understand but isn’t obviously demon worship etc. Many times I have said “Lord, I don’t know what to do here. I don’t want to offend, I want to learn, I don’t want to open spiritual doors, I don’t want to walk in opposition to your ways. I am not sensing anything obvious for red flags, if I miss step in ignorance, please protect me. Please forgive me.

  • 0

    Mind blowing stuff

    randyloubier

    I got nervous answering the questions in the game. I know and love Paul’s Athenian visit. I totally agree with the theory that we need to go to them, in their context, in their language, in their culture. I written about it in two of my books!

    Yet, these questions made me nervous and really stretched me!! Great stuff.

  • 0

    Culture vs. Spiritual Transformation

    randyloubier

    One other thought about all this. I feel like one of the reasons it is okay to go along with all the cultural variances is that Jesus has invited us into something other than a club with a clubhouse and rituals. He invites everyone into a spiritual transformation. The club can have any number of rituals in it, but He is the only one who can spiritually transform us (Ye must be born again.) The rituals are mostly physical and sometimes mindful practices. Asking for spiritual help, spiritual change in us, can only come from another spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the only one who we can trust to do that for our good and not harm. So, how do we get that point across to another culture?

  • 0

    When is the time for courtesy

    Brandalyn

    And the question comes up for me, when is the time for courtesy and not offending/ building bridges and when is the time for being cautious about “spiritual implications” – or is it always both all the time?