My Current Perspective
'If we are not deliberately thinking about our culture and our context, we will be conformed to it without ever knowing.' - Timothy Keller
Today is Maundy Thursday, April 13, 2017. It is 5:32 in the afternoon. I am parked outside of Good News, and the rain is beating hard on the car, giving it a good rinse.
My current perspective on our culture: Our culture as Filipinos today is amusingly diverse. I say amusing because in the previous years, more and more of us have been boldly standing up against a mindset made prevalent only by default - that mindset which believes that we have been done a great injustice by the Marcos family, and that we have been liberated from tyranny during what was called EDSA 1986.
We see in our current administration that the leaders in the past 30 years have been sitting on their hands, saying much and doing less. I see a culture divided in the sense that there are more of us who are doing more and saying less, or at least saying more about doing more.
I see a culture divided between a people subdued by those in influence by tactics which appeal to the emotions yet consequently insulting the intellect, and a people who have had enough of the crying and are applauding those who are actually doing something about it.
I see a culture driven either by blind hate, or inspiration brought about by action towards an actual solution. I see a culture which, if all pointed to the right direction, would gain immediate and effective traction simply out of passion.
With all that said, my current perspective on our culture is that our culture is a passionate one. Our culture stands firm on its beliefs - whether these be our personal beliefs, or those passed/imposed on us by religion, organizations, and other influences, the culture we have holds what it believes in in very high regard.
Let's look at this further. We are either seen as determined if we are with people with like beliefs, or stubborn when being with people who oppose what we believe. While we avoid confrontation, we are more likely to take a more defensive stance when our beliefs are assaulted.
Sadly, too many times this means that we exhibit behavior which may very well be directly contrary to what we say we believe...
...which means that it's not what we believe that we hold in high regard, more than the fact that we actually have strong beliefs about something. I hope I'm making sense. We are a culture that experiences its divisions not because of what we believe but by how we believe what we say we believe.
For instead of us having the actual confidence in what we believe in to hear what any opposition has to say, we fight back, and not always in a fair manner. And those of us who try harder to understand are either smothered out or forced to give up.
My current perspective: Our culture experiences its divisions not because of what we believe but by how we believe what we say we believe, and... well, nothing more than that, sadly.
Now there must be an easier way to squeeze that all into a few words. Could it be that our culture has a lot of belief, but lacking in faith?
...or could it be that deep inside, we believe in ourselves more than we believe in what we say we believe?
For those of us who say that we are Christians, isn't that our struggle as a people liberated by Christ's finished work, against the flesh, and the way of the world?
My current perspective on my own personal culture is one which definitely needs to stand fast - and, in light of all that I've been writing so far, I need to stand fast in the fact that while I do have a grip on Christ, my life, the truth of the matter is He will never leave me no matter how far I think I am from Him.
I am currently on uncharted territory. And instead of me placing emphasis on my sight on the compass, I think I would do so much better to just place my faith in the One who actually points north.
This, consequently, is my context.. based on my current perspective.
Now and always, to live is Christ, for by Christ, I live.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26