Saturday, January 28, 2006

Culture -- Some Comments Inspired by Darrow Miller

This morning I attended a lecture by Darrow Miller of Food for the Hungry and DNA (Discipling Nations Alliance). While much of what he said came from the book Against All Hope -- Hope for Africa, he did make one statement that I thought was quite important to think about. Darrow said the following:

Our culture is derived from our worship. Who we worship determines our culture.

Western civilization as a whole, and the USA in particular were built upon a Judeo-Christian worldview. The God we worshiped was the God of the Old and New Testaments. Our laws, values, beliefs, etc. were all based on the worship of the Christian God. I don't think much of this can be disputed by anyone who knows any history.

However, if we look at what has happened in the Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA in the past 40+ years, I think you can agree that we have begun to drift from a Judeo-Christian worldview. This happened in Europe before it happened in Australia and Canada. It is now becoming more evident in the USA. As many have said, we are moving from a "modern" worldview to a "post-modern" world.

As this transition becomes more complete, who or what we worship also changes. This too, is quite evident in North America. Who or what do we worship today? I would suggest a number of things.
  • materialism -- and the bottom line
  • individualism -- "what is good for me?" or what I would call "me-ism"
  • convenience
  • comfort -- not only physical comfort, but also psychological, sociological, emotional and spiritual comfort.
  • pleasure
You could add a number of other "idols" I'm sure. However, if you think about what Darrow Miller said -- what we worship determines our culture -- and if we assume that the things I mentioned above are at least partially correct -- then we need to ask a question.

How will our culture change if we continue to worship materialism, individualism, convenience, comfort and pleasure?

How will our worship of these things affect:
  • the elderly and those that are sick or disabled?
  • unborn children?
  • our healthcare system?
  • multi-national corporations?
  • our individual, corporate and national generosity towards the poor, the disenfranchised and the oppressed in our own nation and in other countries in the world?
  • illegal immigration?
  • the sex trade and industry?
  • the slave trade that continues throughout the world?
  • our we respond to human rights issues in countries we trade with (do we value people or money?). Do we only worry about human rights in those countries that do not affect our standard of living? Do we ignore the human rights violoations of nations that are our economic and/or political friends (eg. China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the list goes on)?
I am sure you can think of scores of additional issues that a change in who or what we worship will bring in our culture.

Much for us to think about and consider.

1 comment:

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