Like living stones, let yourselves be built[a] into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.- 1 Peter 2:5
Let us recognize that forms of worship (including the presence or absence of different kinds of liturgy, ceremony, music, colour, drama, etc.) will be developed by the church in keeping with indigenous culture.
Each church is God’s church. Some missions and missionaries have been slow to recognize this and to accept its implications in the direction of indigenous forms.
In Jesus teaching and that of the apostles the corollary of good news to the oppressed was a word of judgment to the oppressor.
The people of God are by His grace a unique multi-racial, multi-national, multi-cultural community. This community is God’s new creation, His new humanity, in which Christ has abolished all barriers. There is therefore no room for racism in the Christian society, or for tribalism – whether in its African form, or in the form of European social classes, or of the Indian caste system. Despite the Church’s failures, this vision of a supra-ethnic community of love is not a romantic ideal, but a command of the lord, Therefore, while rejoicing in our cultural inheritance and developing our own indigenous forms, we must always remember that our primary identity as Christians is not in our particular cultures but in the one Lord and His one Body.
You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone.– Philippians 4:15
No church is, or should try to become, self-sufficient.
We are to challenge what is evil and affirm what is good – to welcome and seek to promote all that is wholesome and enriching in art, science, technology, agriculture, industry, education, community development and social welfare – to denounce injustice and support the powerless and the oppressed – to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, which is the most liberating and humanizing force in the world – and to actively engage in good works of love. Although, in social and cultural activity as in evangelism, we must leave the results to God, we are confident that He will bless our endeavours and use them to develop our community.
Finally, beloved,[a] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[b] these things.– Philippians 4:8
The Church cannot impose Christian standards on an unwilling society, but it can commend them by both argument and example.
In every culture Christians find themselves in a situation of conflict and often of suffering. We are called to fight.
For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.– Ephesians 6:12
We need each other.
While energetically labouring on earth, we look forward with joyful anticipation to the return of Christ, and to the new heaven and new earth in which righteousness will dwell. for then not only will culture be transformed, as the nations bring their glory into the New Jerusalem, but the whole creation will be liberated from its present bondage of futility, decay and pain so as to share the glorious freedom of God’s children. Then at last, every knee will bow to Christ and every tongue openly proclaim that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.