Key Point #11: We should become brothers with people of another ethnicity to such and extent that they will be able to share their views and needs.
Often we detect the attitude; if only he would listen to me we could work together. It is troubling when this response of “do it my way” limits service to God and the cooperative evangelization of people worldwide. No, I am not talking about adjusting clearly defined Bible doctrine. I am talking about methods for reaching the lost in another culture.
My concern here is, how can I build a two way trusting relationship with a person from another culture so he can feel free to share his plan to present Christ? There seems to be two problems. 1. We tend to think; because it works for us it will work for others. 2. People from other cultures may hesitate to openly share their opinions or needs based on their assumption of inferiority. This is especially true if support money is involved.
We should respect the dignity and the insight of others. “Respect” is different than “accept,” or “adapt”.
No one should assume that there is only one way to share the Gospel. After all there are over 6,912 language groups, i.e. cultures around the world. Let’s take time to build an understanding of one another so the other person will feel free to tell us how we can best help them. Don’t let the sin of pride hinder the joint effort of giving the Gospel to the ethnic groups here in America and through them to their “Nation”.
Each of us should prepare for serving together with believers from a different culture by making a practical application of these Biblical exhortations.
1Co 1:10 “ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
“And in the same judgment – γνώμη gnōmē. This word properly denotes science, or knowledge; opinion, or sentiment; and sometimes, as here, the purpose of the mind, or will. The sentiment of the whole is, that in their understandings and their volitions, they should be united and kindly disposed toward each other. … And the proper way to produce union in the church of God, is not to begin by attempting to equalize all intellects…, but to produce supreme love to God, and elevated and pure Christian love to all who bear the image and the name of the Redeemer.” (Albert Barnes)
Rom 12:16 “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”
Barnes says a more literal translation might be, “Think of, that is, regard, or seek after the same thing for each other; that is, what you regard or seek for yourself, seek also for your brethren. Do not have divided interests; do not be pursuing different ends and aims; do not indulge counter plans and purposes; and do not seek honors, offices, for yourself which you do not seek for your brethren, so that you may still regard yourselves as brethren on a level, and aim at the same object.”
It is challenging to apply these and other passages. Can we do less and achieve the highest potential?
Don’t hesitate to share your opinions so we can understand one another. Click on the envelope to post a comment.