>Saga of a Christian…Whos culture is it anyway?

>”The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Originally from the Sahara, the Tuaregs live a nomadic lifestyle, they are pastoral nomads constantly in search of pasture for their herd. Either by design or default, they don’t have the benefit of a sedentary lifestyles, as such they are constantly on the lookout for better pasture. Many cultures have been traditionally nomadic; although the behaviour is rare in many industrialized countries, it is estimated that 30-40million nomads still exist in the world today.I began this note with a quote that was uttered by the first Christian to ever live: Jesus. After speaking to a crowd of people, a scribe asked if he could follow him and Jesus responded with: birds and foxes have homes but the son of man has no where to lay his head. The documented life and teachings of Jesus provide his followers and others great insight into what it means to bear the name of Christ, and to have a Christian mindset. His life is a living testament to what it means to pickup your cross and follow him “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Matt. 16:24.

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Please note: If you don’t think you are Christian and do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, most of this will not mean much to you…but if you are curious, please continue reading………..*A person becomes a Christian when they have been transformed by renewing of their mindset.” Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2. They become kingdom minded and their behavior and attitude is renewed, bearing resemblance to that of Jesus. They inhabit the kingdom of God but influence the world around them. Eventually other people desire to emulate them, and that initiates the beginnings of disciple making process “Go, and make disciples of all nations….” Mathew 28:19. The magnitude of a Christian’s influence is directly related to their proximity to the kingdom of God and the extent of their relationship to Jesus Christ. Although a Christian lives in this world, they are not of this world…literally they have been redeemed from the culture around them and birthed into a new culture…the kingdom of God. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18). In order words, a Christian has no country. They move to where the spirit of God leads them and they impact the world around them with the kingdom of God.

Every Christian has a mandate: They are joint heirs with Jesus to extend the kingdom of God and are involved in the kingdom business on earth; Righteousness, Justice, and Love kindness. “but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD” Jeremiah 9:24. God is the biggest recruiter for this cause and he does it one person at a time through disciple making. As much as a Christian needs God to be effective, God needs a Christian to be effective. Christians are God’s ONLY chosen vehicle to effectively bring to earth, His kingdom. “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth….” Amos 3:2A Christian is a shepherd because Jesus is a shepherd “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11…and we bear His name. Like the Tuaregs, a Christian lives a spiritual nomadic lifestyle, often, it gets manifested with the person’s disciples. Jesus revealed that you will know the false prophet by their fruit(s) disciples or lack thereof. Mathew 7:16. A shepherd is constantly studying the condition of his flock and on the lookout for greener pastures for them to graze. The closest to the kingdom bear the most fruit. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me….” John 15:4Key question here: Since a birth of a Christian is a birth of a new mind, and as a man thinketh, so is he, I ask a question, can a man be a Christian and be say, a Canadian at the same time? Is there something like a Canadian Christian, Christian Canadian…..(I use Canada only as an illustrative tool, I don’t mean to pick on Canada, I am fond of the Canadian culture and the people that live in it)

I meet with a group of great young men on a fairly regular basis and I asked them this key question. After many discussions, we concluded that NO you cannot be a Christian and belong to any other culture in the world, may it be the African, Canadian, American etc. We understood that Christ is the centerpiece of civilization, and many civilized cultures are founded on the beliefs and teachings of Christ. The Christian culture transcends all other earthly culture.

Allow me to illustrate: Jesus is the first Christian, meaning he is the foundation for Christianity. Christians have a mandate to help establish righteousness, Loving kindness and Justice by seeking the kingdom of God. In one of my notes,”Welcome to the good life” I explained that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Like nomads, when a Christian and his/her followers seek after the kingdom of God, a community gets built around that culture, after a little while, the community gets polluted with sin (human nature) Some people with the mindset of Christ move their herd along to the next pasture. If others decide to remain in the community, they usually name it and settle there. For example, they call the place Ghanada.The Christian and disciples however, continue to seek the Kingdom of God, a community arises, and it gets polluted, settled in and named, say CanUSA. The Christian and his/her flock once again move in search for the kingdom of God (Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit). You can easily see how many societies will be based on a Christian foundation. It is evident that many cultures such as American or Canadian are founded extensively on the Christian culture. It becomes easier to understand how a person cannot be a Christian and also belong to an earthly culture.

In my illustration, either the Ghanada and CanUSA communities were remnants of a Christian’s movement or a Christian was redeemed from them. Christians are described as peculiar people because they live in the world but are not of it. As such, it is important for Christians to be constantly renewing their mind and progressively seeking the kingdom of God. Like a nomad, it is critical to be in search for the greener pasture, failure to act will inevitable lead to sedentary. If you settle, what would you call your new territory? Otherwise, it’s time to move on. The kingdom depends on you.


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