Is your church a culture of peace

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What definition comes to your mind when you hear the word culture? If you are like many, you would probably think of a person who is an expert in literature or in the arts. Others would consider this term as descriptive of any human society, whether past or present. Josef Pieper warns us (in his book Leisure: the Basis of Culture), that unless we take time to withdraw from culture to reflect upon it so as to rebuild, revise, or refine it; we will surely destroy it and ourselves.

 In other words, hectic lives that rarely slow down to rest, reflect, and repent; will neither preserve the past, nor correctly rebuild for the future. Properly defined, the word culture is derived from the Latin cultura, which means to plow or till. Thus, we speak of agri-culture, which is the care of the soil to grow crops. This word is also closely related to the Latin cultus, which has the meaning of worship, adoration, or religious veneration. Therefore, the Bible describes a godly person as one who regularly plows up the fallow ground of his soul, Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12; cf. Jeremiah 4:3; Hebrews 6:7b). 

Further, the Christian individually and the Church collectively are both responsible to constantly be in the process of re-making their modern societal culture through living and preaching the gospel, You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16; cf. 2 Timothy 4:2-5). We are also to constantly be re-making our individual family cultures. Fathers, especially, must create a climate, an atmosphere, or a culture that is conductive toward culto familiar (Portuguese for Family worship). Here Moses’ exhortation to do so, You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in you house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:7). And lastly , this is no less true for our own church cultures, Paul reminds us to, ...to walk in a manner worthy of (your) calling...bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).

“A Church has a culture of peace when its people are eager and able to resolve conflict and reconcile relationships in a way that clearly reflects the love and power of Jesus Christ.” – Ken Sande

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