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The Problem with Cultural Diversity

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew”

Apostle Paul is a good example for a respectful and considerate interaction in a culturally diverse environment, without at the same time declaring culture as a leading principle.

During his Sabbath sermon, David Asscherick addresses a complex topic in front of roughly 4.000 people: how to deal with cultural differences. Using the example of the circumcision of non-Jewish converts (Acts 15), he explains how a cultural phenomenon should not be raised to the level of a dogma. At the same time, he underlines clearly the necessity to adjust our language and behaviour to our respective environment in a considerate way.

This balancing act is a well-known challenge, which too often moves in grey areas and makes it impossible to declare universally binding principles. However, we must be careful not to transform “culture” into a concept that stands above the categories of good and evil. Two examples: The circumcision and brutal mutiliation of little girls in some African countries is a part of the culture, but at the same time simply wrong. And if an audience does not vivaciously participate in a sermon, for example by “amen” exclamations, it is also part of the culture, but merely wrongly understood.

Written by Janet Reznicek on Sunday, 27 March 2016.
Posted in speaker , YiMC 2016