the discussion in my american culture class (subtitle: social location and the gospel) began eight weeks ago on who we are, what we bring culturally to the table, and how this affects our view of the gospel.

i have thought about this much these past weeks as i look at how my southern, christian heritage has shaped and formed me…
and where it has possibly misdirected me in terms of the good news of christ, and even tainted this news.

i am beginning to realize how little i know of god’s ways, god’s word, and god’s working…
yet, how much i know of being a southern lady, of being a christian example, of being the right person (according to my southern, christian culture), of being one who follows the “rules” while sometimes missing the point of the “rules”.

DSCN5715 sounds vaguely familiar to something i read the other day…

1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?…6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”
~jesus talking in matthew 15.1-3, 6-9.

isn’t jesus talking against the culture of the day that had infiltrated the ranks of the church?
isn’t jesus speaking to those who were following man’s traditions rather than looking to god’s standards?
isn’t jesus speaking to the religious who diligently follow the “rules” while missing the point of the “rules”?
isn’t jesus speaking to me, one who often looks to my southern, christian culture to formulate my views of the gospel, rather than god’s word?

3 thoughts on “traditions.

  1. jen, ralph & i have talked about this quite a bit.sometmes you go to church and it seems that some things are kinda skirted over and the people go home feeling go0d about going to church, when they have not really heard the true gospel. since ralph and i have been married he has opened my eyes and heart to some really true meanings that i never knew. he has been a blessing to me. love you, grandma.

  2. we all need people in our lives that point us to truth, to christ, and to the gospel…glad ralph does that for you (and you do that for him as well).
    i am grateful for the ways in which i am being challenged in class, by friends, and by god. it is hard at times, but nonetheless best for me.

  3. Jen Blackwell, this is good stuff. Things that we need to hear, then incorporate into our lives, not simply as individuals, but as the community of Christ. The gospel is the “good news”, but sometimes the good news does not seem to be good news at first, because it proclaims something which goes against the grain of society, but has the capacity to free humans to be able to truly love others within that society, it is the paradox of the gospel. Thanks for the insight that you bring. Word! Peace!

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