October 3rd, 2012 by Dennis Rouse
Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of us are carrying around some kind of hang-up about race or other cultures. If we’re not, then we know somebody who is. Even though more than 100 nations are represented at Victory, and Reconciling Cultures is part of the vision of this church, topics on race relations or cultural barriers are still sensitive ones to talk about. Our experiences run deep and any scars left behind are very real, but ask yourself this important question: “How much of my life do I live based on race and earthly culture and how much do I live based on Kingdom culture?”
When you belong to Jesus, you now have an opportunity to demonstrate to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and everyone around you that you no longer see them how you used to see them. As a new creation living a new creation life, you do more than just tolerate others. You set out to embrace all people and reconcile them to Jesus and to one another.
We know that every day we are influenced away from this kind of Kingdom culture. History, Seeds of Bad Theology, Politics, Economic & Educational Inequities, and Secular Media are five barriers we need to overcome in order to reconcile with each other. I talk about that more here, but I want to emphasize some principles that will help people break the barriers that keep them apart.
1) Embrace Kingdom culture over earthly culture.
The culture we grew up in forms our thinking, and everything we do filters through our earthly culture – the way we dress, the music we listen to, the way we talk, the people we vote for, etc. How much more are you focused on your race vs. the human race?
2) Embrace righteousness and justice.
Righteousness is living right; justice is doing right. If we really want reconciliation, we have to try to look at both righteousness issues and justice issues.
3) Live with the intentional mindset of love.
The thing about Jesus is that He intentionally went out of His way to love people, especially those who were different from Him. Whatever race we are, we need to be intentional about demonstrating our love for other races.
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:16-18).
Listen to this message, Breaking Cultural Barriers, in its entirety.