In our world…in our culture today, your faith in something, your belief in something or some One really doesn’t matter much. Most people who you meet don’t care what you think and especially what you believe in.
It is a cynical way of looking at life in general and especially regarding your personal salvation, but it is true! Some don’t believe that we have an existence beyond this life at all. Some people think that we do and that it matters what you believe and Who you believe in. So what is it that separates us on religious issues as well as cultural issues?
Mainly our beliefs. Our God or our unbelief in one is what truly separates us from each other as well as our cultures. We all have different cultures that we have grown up in with their own beliefs and customs and traditions. Those have separated us for many years and in many ways, because of that we have a hard time understanding each other’s culture or the belief systems that each of us follows. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t understand each other…if we will suspend our cultural prejudices and attempt to find common ground.
Many times, the beliefs that we have built up over time are truly what separates us. Sometimes we blame it on our skin color or the texture of our hair, but in reality it is our cultures which divide us. The divisions fall along lines which have built up over centuries and then get blamed on small details, which don’t really separate us at all. The norms which we grow up with, whether they are religious or not, are the lines which come between many countries today.
We tend to look at skin color more often than we should, but in reality it actually boils down to culture, which is something that can’t be changed because if you did then you would be in a different culture altogether one which is different. Those differences are what defines each of us in the world that we live in, whether it is in Israel or Argentina or Turkey or even Siberia. The culture that is there in each of those places, along with the languages, separates us into respective people, even though we are still part of the human race.
Does it matter whether you came from Argentina or Siberia? No, if you were taken as an orphan and raised in South Chicago or even Brooklyn, then your racial features would be there but you would develop the mannerisms of the area where you grow up. We take on the mantle of the culture in which we are brought up, no matter where we may come from originally. The point that I am trying to make is that our differences are not genetic nor are our appetites. We are the product of nurturing in the culture where we develop as children, and we carry that with us through our lives.
Just as God commanded the Israelites not to mingle with the cultures in the land where He was leading them to, we must stay separate too. This is what causes separation and racism….separateness in culture, religion, art, music! The point of this post is not to emphasize our differences but our similarities! Yes, we are different in all of these areas, but we are, at the most basic cellular level, the same. Beliefs, religions, and culture all conspire to change us, to mold us into the individuals that we are…that we can be.
Do you believe in God? So do the demons and Satan, and they tremble at His presence. God is not a punisher of those who don’t do His will, He is the Creator and nurturing Spirit behind all that is good in this world. All that we should do is to seek Him, to acknowledge Him as Who He is, to get to know Him and to love Him. Regardless of the culture that you were brought up in or your own beliefs, seek out the knowledge of Jesus and God. Learn from them and learn why you are loved by them. Then the culture and racial differences will not be so apparent and glaring, but they will be lower than your love for God and when you put Him first in your life, everything else falls into place as it should.