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September 20, 2006



Another translation has "pride" instead of arrogance. Which is I think is a very dangerous attribute. In fact we are warned in proverbs that pride comes before a fall, I have known this in my own life, the minute I am thimking to highly of myself, somethimg will happen to remind me that I am just a servant in the service of the King.


We could learn so much from so many cultures. I really like the idea behind most Navajo religious rites: they don't seek to change their evironment or situation, they try to bring themselves into harmony (horzo) with what is going on. When applying the concept of horzo to our prayer lives do we pray for God to change our situtation or to help us be okay with out situation?

It bothers me that there are Christians out there who have a problem with the story of sweating.

Another thing that I have always had a question about was the slide shows that missionaries show. When they first arrive at the tropical mission field, the photos all show nearly naked people. After a few years and what are described as "many converts", the photos show the same people wearing western-style pants and button down shirts. I'm reminded of God's question in the garden: "Who told you that you were naked?"


Hopefully there is less of that kind of cultural imperialism going on in missions work today. I think the question of culture is still a confusing one to many Christians, though (including me).

I like your example of "horzo."


I think that that is part of the reason that other countrys come to hate America. Our society is convinced it is the one and only way to do things (religious and secular). Any other way is 'primitive'. We try to force our biases and perspectives on cultures that are not comparable or compatible. This is not to say that we should compromise our basic beliefs, but we do need to be sensitive to our audience.


As a child of a missionary I can tell you that it was my experience that missionaries did'nt tell the national people to dress like the west, they wanted to themselves. And there were plenty of nationals who chose not to dress like the west, what happens is that thier country begins to progress in areas like having TV or radio and they begin to see/hear how the rest of the world is. It has nothing to do with missionaries. I believe that other countries hate us for the freedoms that we enjoy, trust me I have lived in a country were they are not free like we are, I remember having to register with the local police every year, and how the nationals did not have the right to vote like we do in this country, they may say that the people vote but I can tell you from living there that it is not true. When you have lived in a country like Indonesia, your world view is very much differant then what the media in this country try to portray and they get away with it because most people have not been or would never go to see for themselves what the truth is.
Also most missionaries abide by the national customs because if you don't you would not be able to have a relationship with them, how can you minister to people if you steam roll over thier way of life, it just does'nt happen that way.
I am sorry that I sound defensive of missionaries but I have to be because I know what it is to live in another culture and to see how missionarie really work.


Thanks for that input, r. I think it was probably earlier in history that a lot of missionaries came in to places wanting to "civilize" the natives. You're right, though, there are lots of missionaries who work hard at assimilating out of love for the people, their culture, and for God.

Actually, it seems like a lot of missionaries seem to be more "progressive" Christians than those who stay in one culture. Perhaps this is because they are stretched by their exposure to other cultures.


So, the reason other countrys hate us is out of jealousy?! That would have fit in with our last discussion. :0)

I am glad to hear that missionaries are not perpetuating this mentality. I am sure that there are many benchwarmers (church goers) who are glad that they have become 'civilized' though.

I do think that as a society we look down our noses at other 'lesser' nations and this arrogance gets us in trouble.

r, you don't sound defensive, just providing an insider's perspective on that aspect of the discussion. (always appreciated)


I think about this in a more personal sense when I read it...
In my relationships with family, friends, etc., I try to remind myself that despite the fact that I would always love to be right (and often am ;o) - it's my pride that keeps me arguing, pushing, insisting.
I often reflect on this verse when I'm in arguments - (I'm glad I learned it young!) - and am very humbled by it.


Thanks Bill (on the horzo thing). I took a class on comparative religions and we covered a number of them and some cults. One of the requirements was that we had to find at least 1 thing that each religion/cult did right. There would have to be something positive that people were getting out of each one in order for them to be drawn there.

It would be arrogant of us to say that we couldn't learn from other faith systems.

Mark H

Great post! Are your Trackbacks working?



Sorry about that, Mark. Apparently I have to approve trackbacks. I thought maybe I had switched something in my options, but I don't see it.

In any case, thanks for the link!

Mark H

This entire series on love is sooooo good.


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