September 11, 2016
How to Neighbor: Cross Cultural Neighboring
How to Neighbor, our series on being a biblical neighbor, concluded with a message on cross cultural neighboring. Pastor Andy began the message by looking at Acts 1:8, paying particular attention to the regions where Jesus said his disciples would be his witnesses. One of those regions was Samaria, a place that was close to the homeland of his Jewish disciples, but populated by people who were different from them. Proclaiming the Gospel would require, and still does, cross cultural neighboring.
There are four primary cultural barriers that separate people from each other: race, language, economics, and religion. Of these four, race and ethnicity have historically been the primary fault line that keeps groups apart. But God’s heart is for all the nations to find salvation in Jesus Christ. As his disciples, therefore, we cannot allow any cultural barrier to keep us from proclaiming the love and grace of God found in Jesus.
There are three things that we can do to be cross cultural neighbors. First, we must deprioritize politics and reprioritize the kingdom of God. Not only are politics divisive, but these days we use politics to demonize others! We need to be kingdom-minded, instead. Second, we must increase our capacity for empathy, which is the ability to understand life from another person’s perspective. Third, we cannot be afraid. Perfect love drives out fear, so we cannot be afraid to cross cultural boundaries with the love of Christ.