Mystic Mondays – One Body

In the West it has become popular to associate Christianity with colonialization or other horrors of the Enlightenment period. It’s often viewed as a “Western Religion” or a “white-man’s religion.” While there is some accuracy to those critiques when it comes to specific churches, those critiques go out the window when looking at the broader Church.

One of the unique things about Christianity is that I can sit down next to a Christian from India, or Peru, or Russia, and have more in common with that person than a relative who is not a believer. I may not speak the same language as the other Christian, I certainly don’t come from the same culture, but he and I are unified on a level deeper than any culture could potentially provide.

Ultimately, Christianity is cross-cultural when appreciated in its true form. When we attempt to make Christianity cultural – which have had a tendency to do in the West – and adopt cultural mores into the Christian ethos, then we begin to make Christianity exclusive. For instance, the liberal Christians who have limited the miracles of God or the works of the Bible have necessarily excluded Christians from around the world who have avoided an Enlightenment influence. Likewise, the conservative Christians who equate Christianity to Americanism, or place patriotism ahead of their faith, have necessarily excluded all Christians who are not American. That is not the call of the Body.

One of the mysteries of the Church is that we are all united even without knowing each other, and must subsequently think globally about our brethren in other nations. We must think about the global persecution of Christians or the poverty they must endure. While this stands true of all humans and our concern for them should also be great, it is even more true for those who are Christians, who are of our own family.

Christianity is universal and unifying. In its truest form it reaches across cultures, languages, and national borders to create a bond among the nations that nothing can surpass.


One thought on “Mystic Mondays – One Body

  1. I can understand your feeling that you have more in common with a Christian person who is from another culture than a relative who is not a believer. It’s a comfortable feeling knowing that you’re a part of a group of like minded people. Can I assume your phrase “not a believer” includes everybody that’s not Christian? You didn’t mention other religions. If my assumption is correct, then you’ve separated yourself from about 75% of the Earth’s population.
    As a child I felt a deep connection with all people, even animals. This was long before I ever heard of evolution. I know deep down inside each of us we all basically want the same things. We want to live our lives in peace, and we want to live peacefully with others. Growing up in a Christian family I could see clearly that I was supposed to be special because I was a Christian. That didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t believe it. It made me feel bad, and I thought it was wrong. Am I making sense?
    Sure, my parents were supportive of people that weren’t Christian, but the unspoken message was they weren’t Christian, so they were not exactly as “good” as us. Good isn’t right, maybe we were more informed? More enlightened? It seems religion does more to isolate people in this world, then it does to bring them together.
    Why can’t the thing we have in common be that we’re human? Or that we’re all alive, plants and animals together that share a common ancestry? To me that’s a much more special and beautiful feeling than the feeling I get thinking I’m special from non-believers. Therefore, I’m NOT a believer!
    Thanks Joel!

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