Celebrating culture

Schools across New Zealand were celebrating Samoan Language Week from 29 May 2017 to 2 June 2017. Tyndale Park Christian School’s staff and students also participated by learning some basic phrases and games from our Samoan staff and students.

God has blessed our school with wonderful cultural diversity. Our students have the incredible opportunity to get to know students with a variety of cultural backgrounds, enabling them to learn how to establish meaningful relationships with people who are different from them. A Christian author who has been involved in cross-cultural ministry for many years commented that every culture displays some attribute of God. It confirmed to the author that human beings have been made in the image of God. I believe that the physical diversity we see in people and cultures is evidence of God’s infinite nature.

What does the Bible teach about culture? Jerry Solomon puts it this way,

We have seen that Scripture is not silent regarding culture. It contains much by way of example and precept, and we have only begun the investigation. There is more to be done. With this expectation in mind, what have we discovered from the Bible at this stage?

First, in some measure God “is responsible for the presence of culture, for he created human beings in such a way that they are culture-producing beings.”

Second, God holds us responsible for cultural stewardship.

Third, we should not fear the surrounding culture; instead, we should strive to contribute to it through God- given creativity, and transform it through dialogue and proclamation.

Fourth, we should practice discernment while living within culture.

Fifth, the products of culture should be judged on the basis of intent, not form. Or, to simply further: “We advance the theory that God’s basic attitude toward culture is that which the apostle Paul articulates in I Corinthians 9:19-22. That is, he views human culture primarily as a vehicle to be used by him and his people for Christian purposes, rather than as an enemy to be combatted or shunned.” Let us use this vehicle for the glory of God!

At Tyndale Park Christian School we celebrate culture with the intent of showing how great God is and how God is able to transform culture so that cultural practices glorify Him.

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