If you don’t know, I am from a small island in the Caribbean called Trinidad. My post this week is from the spiritual experience I had while living in Trinidad. I spent half my life there and half my life in Canada. I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior after a few years of finishing university in Canada. After becoming a Christian I looked back at how culture infiltrated the church in Trinidad.
When I was young I was really religious, but I was also really ‘Trini’. I loved Carnival, calypso and everything Trinidadian. My whole identity was wrapped up in the culture of Trinidad. Imagine a typical Trini would party, drink and gyrate on multiple people for two days straight (during our Carnival festival) and then go to church for ashes the next day. When I look back on how we used to behave I am so ashamed, but that was our culture. The cultural norms of the country was seeping into the church. To show you how strong culture is, when I first became a Christian I heard a preacher preach on how bad Toronto’s Carnival was, and I found myself becoming offended. I was so wrapped up in my culture that I did not see the sin the whole event represented. To make matters worse, when I went back to Trinidad, around the time of Carnival, I read a church bulletin where the priest said it is ok to go and 'free up yourself.'
How do we address sin when half the choir was out partying and drinking the night before? Do we say it is part of our culture? How do we keep our culture and still have our Christ? I believe Christ comes first and if our culture does not line up with the word of God then we have to say no. What has your experience been in your country? Is it Christ or Culture?
"...don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." James 4:4
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