Week 3: Introduction to Culture Specific Evangelism (part 3) April 26-May 2

Questions

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    Joze (Week 3) Reflections

    Joze

    Muslim Tribal Chief paper:
    – What a remarkable testimony of protection from drowning and bullets! I’ve heard of similar stories from our co-workers in West Africa among animistic people groups. It’s always so amazing to hear these stories. But what’s more amazing is the tribal chief’s dream to follow Jesus that allowed him to pass on the mantle of leadership to a non-family member because in many collectivist people groups, when the leader follows Jesus and exemplifies the values of the Kingdom, the rest of the tribe follow for the most part. LIke one of the comments below the article, I wonder if this story came from an African context.

    Hindu World paper:
    – Another great example of an indigenous Jesus movement where the Gospel is planted and grown in the soil of the culture. Too often missionaries are overly cautious and possibly fearful of what the culture of a Hindu-background believer might do and have these types of questions: How will they practice their faith? How do they prevent syncretism?

    Cross-cultural Evangelism Game 2:
    – Great practical illustration of how what we see may not necessarily take in the “full” reality. The reality that we perceive is naturally filtered by the eyes that we have, and we might not even perceive that we have blind spots or dominant ways of viewing things.

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    Week 3 Brandalyn

    Brandalyn

    I know that this isn’t really the same, but these readings brought to mind William Booth (founder of the salvation army) who put God words to folk and drinking songs in East London 150 yes ago doing Street and tavern ministry – because the tunes and music were familiar and enjoyed by the people that he was seeking to reach. They only needed to learn the words as they already knew the tunes. When challenged on the “right-ness” of this, one of his responses was “why should the devil get all the good music?”

    I think that what is likely most needed is for wise individuals in a culture to come together and dig into what can be used to worship God in spirit and in truth. In so many missionary stories it seems that the people don’t need to be told by the foreign missionary what they can keep or what to stop. In their hearts they know, they know the meaning and foundation of various practices within their culture and God moves them to remove what is not pleasing to him. We probably need to be more patient and less fearfully to allow God the time to work out the details with people, rather than us taking the Lead. We should probably focus on teaching the person and priorities of God and what he has left recorded for us on how he dealt with people more than correcting their behaviours with do and don’t lists. If we teach them to love Jesus, they will want to serve him rightly and run from anything that would break God’s heart.

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    A little "aha" moment of the lens I have been looking through

    Brandalyn

    An interesting realization came to my mind today as I studied John 3. I realized that my view of Numbers 23 account has always been colored by the movies and images of that event that I have seen portrayed.
    I always struggle with the Numbers 23 account of “God told Moses to make a brass serpent and lift it up on a pole for all to see. Any stricken person who looked at the serpent would immediately be healed. So, it is also a story of faith: When the people looked by faith, they were saved.”
    I have struggled with “why would God set people up for carrying this forward as Idol worship of the snake?”
    But then this morning I read:
    “The verb ‘lifted up’ has a dual meaning: to be crucified (John 8:28; 12:32–34) and to be glorified and exalted.” (Bible Exposition Commentary).
    “Much as the serpent was lifted up on that pole, so the Son of God would be lifted up on a cross that whoever believes in him might have eternal life.”
    What if that bronze snake wasn’t the image of a healthy snake wound around a pole, looking down on the people, but a snake impaled upon it? Or a dead snake hanging off if it? What if it was the image of a CRUCIFIED snake and not a GLORIFIED snake?
    That TOTALLY changes my perception of it! Then I don’t see it as something that the people might have tended to worship and revere as much as something that pointed them to God being their snake-crusher!
    I guess the depictions of this scene that I have seen my whole life have always shown this bronze snake being healthy and so I assimilated that in my mind and understanding. But this…. Opens another door of possibility.