Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"The Patterned way in which humans
do things together"

I did a session today all about Culture and particularly how our misunderstanding of culture, and sub-cultures, can create the opposite to a climate of trust.

Why is culture important?
Why take it seriously?
Because God takes ours seriously - just one answer.

When God wanted to love the world, he poured all his 100% love in a human person. That Jesus person entered the world and into a culture. It was first century, Palestinian, Jewish - and he also decided to be a male in that context.
So we too need to contextulize our faith if we are interested in real authentic communication.

How can, who received my faith experience in a UK Lancashire context - dozens of years ago ....
Take the principles out of the Gospel which was presented in flesh and words some 2000 years ago .....
And live it out, communicate it out in 2008 .................................................................................?

The blog I did yesterday,below, relates to working with a gang culture. To communicate in that context I needed to become absorbed in their culture. Often we had volunteers coming to live and work with us for a year or more. These were well educated, from Universities. Often they were 'posh'. Always great humans. Passionate and faith committed - why else come to a deprived inner city area - doesn't everyone in the world, especially humans with a Christian faith, aspire and ensure they move up the ladder into a 'better areas' - into a place called comfortable?

The local kids thought they were all from another planet. They did not speak cockney - they were wearing strange clothes - 'all hippies' they said.
Not only that - these well educated humans, were massively inadequate like fish out of water in a tough inner city. They were scared.
Me too.

When they had been living in the area for some time, it was noticed that they purchased clothes and footwear which were similar to the local kids. This was not orchestrated - it was a natural step in identification. White Nike boots were the thing in those days. The kids had them, the young leaders bought them -
me too!

'Vote with you feet' is an exercise in one of my books.
I used that today.
I then triggered, in those present, their own cultural influences - so often focusing on food, play, worship, language, myths, stories and several art forms. All this moved towards the question how we can culturally transpose our values and desires to be of assistance to the humans around us.
Then related this to the youngsters in their community - so many differences.
How do we culturally transpose our faith? How can we take principles from first century Palestine, as recorded in the book, and transpose them into life right now?
Maybe I don't take off your big smelly boots to wash your feet - maybe I wash the dishes - maybe taking out the rubbish or cleaning the toilet?

The challenge to get a dysfunctional community to acknowledge each other, benefit from each other and love each other?
I used the movie 'Freedom Writers' to move their emotions and make stronger points than I could.
Really consider buying this DVD - it is fantastic.
I was s weeping yesterday as I prepared for this gig.
I filled up again today.
Beauty-Full ............ get the whole family together ............... wow

Cultural transposition triggers ideas for programmes and change.
Come to me attitudes to culture - thumbs down.
Meeting others were they are at - thumbs up.