"I have become all things to all people" : relinquishment as a missionary lifestyle
Date de publication2012
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In Paul’s missionary trips to Corinth, his ability to connect with the multi-cultural community in Corinth, and his letters to the Corinthian church, we can find a basis for understanding the meaning of crossing cultures when working in a multi-cultural setting. Paul crossed different cultural and religious barriers in order to preach the gospel in Corinth. In like manner, today many churches in the United States have been listening to God’s call to cross cultural barriers in order to point them to the only one who can save them: Christ.
By understanding the Corinthian community and what Paul confronted there we can find the groundwork to work inter-culturally in a multi-cultural context. In like manner, by becoming all things to all people, Paul created a path in which the cultures involved can have the opportunity to understand, and to learn from, each other. While God, through Paul’s writing, is calling us to become all things to all people, he is not calling us to do it all at once. Also, Paul leaves us some boundaries to guard against the danger of losing ourselves in the process.
Today, in the same way that God called Paul, he is calling the North American church to be a communal bridge in which all those involved can gain a new identity in Christ. Moreover, in order for the church to survive we need to take steps in which we, like Paul, learn how to live with those around us that are different from ourselves. Finally, God, through Paul, is asking us to relinquish our religious background, our expectations, our understanding of God and the way we speak in order to fully become inter-cultural human beings while living and working in a multi-cultural world.