There is no question that culture influences behavior. Culture as used in this article is defined as an accepted behavior in and among a community. That does not mean that everyone in that community goes along with such culture, but the culture is usually tolerated so as to lessen any controversy.
Culture is very strong for many people around the world. Often times, culture dictates how we live. Even those cultures that claim to be "Christian" in nature allow their culture to influence them. The ideal is where the Bible influences the culture. It used to be that way in America. But the culture of America now rejects the Bible as a standard of authority. America has lost its edge by allowing people to dictate what is acceptable instead of allowing God to dictate what is acceptable.
We see this in various cultures that treat people differently. Many treat women as nothing more than sex objects and property. Many women are abused, and they take it, because that is what the culture is. Many have a superstitious culture that seeks to worship spirits and idols. Some cultures have accepted that the men cheat on their women, and lately the women are doing the same. Some cultures have no problem breaking the law, as they create their own rules and laws as they see fit.
We can see that many churches have allowed the culture of the community to direct their paths. Thus preaching is not focused upon any sins that may be present, as that might make people uncomfortable. It is sometimes amusing, even though very sad, that we see internet videos of people really acting the fool in supposed church services. We are commanded that our worship services be conducted decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). Clapping, dancing, running around, shaking the body, playing of music are all things that could be considered cultural for some, yet have no place in the kingdom of God.
The American culture has transformed into a society void of God. This is obvious as you watch the behavior of many people. Sadly this culture has not been condemned from the pulpits of the land. In fact, those who occupy the pulpits are some of the worst by not condemning culture that is opposed to the Bible.
When many in society can persecute Christians and be hailed as heroes, while godless individuals are having praises heaped upon them, something is wrong. A football player that prays is shunned, while one comes out as gay is exalted by so many.
While some cultural behavior is certainly against the teaching of the Bible, there is another culture that is not breaking God's law per se. Our society has grown to allow each person to be their own judge of their own actions. Thus we cannot tell someone what they are doing is wrong. So we just keep to ourselves and our little private community. This is a reason that many churches do not grow anymore. People get in a rut, and expanding the envelope of comfort is not encouraged or in some cases, tolerated. We have become a people that amuse and occupy ourselves with what the world has to offer, and spend very little time in seeking the things that will bring about eternal life in heaven.
We need to encourage everyone to return to the Bible and live according to its standard, and not allow culture to dictate our course of action.
By Carey Scott
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