Religion and Culture

At the bottom of the “How Should Christians Respond to Culture?” page there are six articles about various conflicts between religion and culture.  Read one of the articles and then respond to this post.  In one sentence summarize the conflict described in the article.  Then explain which of the five Christian responses discussed in class the situation is most like (Avoid, Blend, etc.) and defend your answer.  Lastly share your thoughts.  What were your impressions of the article?  What do you agree/disagree with?  (If you’re one of the last to reply to this post, pick an article that hasn’t been discussed.)

Then reply/respond to one of your classmates’ posts.

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Denver Christian High School Seminar Program
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40 Responses to Religion and Culture

  1. Anonymous says:

    I read about the Amish. It was about an Amish man who was arrested for texting and driving a buggy. The man was also texting obscen languege and images to an underaged girl. The conflict was obviously that there was an Amish man with a cell phone. The Amish are avoid Christians so it shocked people that they would even own a ell phone. The artical goes on to an interview where a man describes the Amish ways and how we have a few misconceptions of them. As I said the Amish are avoid Christians and I can prove this in many ways. First the Amish shun culture as a whole. They don’t like the effects that technology does to the people like phones, that eliminate face to face interaction. so they choose to avoid the culture. Overall my impression of the artical is that like any other religion or group the people’s values and traditions can varry. Some Amish alow more technology then others. I disagree with the Amish, I think that we should embrace culture instead of shun it. Even thought they have some good Ideals to their life style, I find that they take to much out for me to agree with them.
    Kristin

    • Anonymous says:

      In the Star Bangled Anthem article, a man speaks about the conflict of being loyal to his nation but putting God about everything else. This action represents transformation. These people have decided that God should be the main focus of their life but don’t reject culture. They live their life to example God’s love for them and hope to show the world the right way to live. I think this way of living in the world is respectable. What these people are doing are coming from a pure heart. I wish I could be as bold as them and have the wisdom they posess.

      -Allison (2nd period)

    • Mikey says:

      I agree… The Amish are taking it a little to far by shunning the culture. but, their beliefs are different than ours. I guess that we might need to embrace that. But their beliefs are soooo against culture that it just doesn’t work. So yes, I agree that they should at least try to embrace culture more than they are now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. I believe that Amish ways were orignally created in a good heart but have become more focused on being seperated. Living a lifestyle of being isolated and shunned would be too much for me. I want to enjoy the world God has created. Even though there is a lot of brokenness, I believe it is just another trial on this earth that God has given us so we may strengthen our faith. The Amish are good people but their way of living just isn’t for me.

      -Allison (2nd period)

      • Bri says:

        I agree with you Kristin. I feel like the Amish spend too much time trying to decide what the right way is from the wrong. It would be better if they tried to go out and make a difference in the people living in the world than just inside their little group. It’s not doing any good for anyone else. It’s better to reach out to others because that will have a longer affect.

  2. Mikey says:

    I read about not singing the star spangled banner. This article was talking about the issue of singing the star spangled banner. I’d say that this matches the control/cover up the best. What I believe is weird. I say that basically if you want to sing it, go ahead and sing it. In the last few years I have been in situations where other people are resiting the pledge of allegiance or singing the star spangled banner a lot, but i’e only sung along 1 time and said the pledge 0 times. My parents are Anabaptist, so that’s the way i’ve been raised. I seriously don’t care though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Although I think the issue is trivial, I don’t think most people agree with you or me. Most use that song as our feel-good patriot tune. I think it is a great song myself, but there is no need to get offended because of someone with different beliefs. If someone else believes the song is flawed, then they believe the song is flawed. There is no reason to stir up conflict.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree it’s very control cover. Also I agree that we should beable to sing the song if we won’t. This is where freedom of speech should take over. We are free to sing and do as we wish as long as it doesn’t harm others and the song can in no way harm another person. I think this proposal is to be honest stupid
      Kristin

  3. Bri says:

    I read the article about the Jewish school giving up the state championship because it fell on the Sabbath. This article talked about the teams dedication to their beliefs and remaining consistent while giving up their desire to compete. I would say that this goes with transform because they are trying to make a difference by setting a good example. They are trying to be a good role model for those who may drop their traditions/beliefs for a game and then just say they will continue it again once the game is over. I know that I go out on Sundays even though it’s supposed to be a day of rest and about God. It’s a hard topic because you don’t know where to draw the line with that, like when it’s okay to leave your house and when it’s not for certain things.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can relate to not knowing when to draw the line. It is very hard to find that line and even more so in current culture. It is full of media and pressure from the world that we sometimes sink in to their so to speak “line”. This is where we as Christians start to struggle. I think more and more are becoming Christians that blend and try and fit in with America, unlike the Jewish school who knew where to draw the line and stay with God, not the culture.

      -Brody

      • Merissa says:

        I agree that it is hard to determine what is okay to do and what is not okay to do on the Sabbath. I believe that the dedication of the Jewish school to give up their chance at the state championship is very admirable though, and it shows how much they are truly trying to honor God, even if it means making sacrifices.

    • Erin says:

      I do think its hard to decide what is and isn’t okay to do on the Sabbath. It’s hard to know when to draw the line. I do however respect them for standing firmly by their beliefs.

    • Kaylee says:

      I also agree it is hard to decide how you should spend Sundays. And also about the state championship thing, I just wonder what would have happened if last year’s Denver Christian basketball state championship fell on Sunday, would we forfit?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree it’s hard to decide where to draw the line because everyone even though Christian forgets the main purpose or topic to do or not to do as a person. And, in my opinion, I respect the Jewish school for their beliefs.

      James Jee

    • Anonymous says:

      I also agree with you Bri. I respect this Jewish school so much. This also makes me feel so inferior because I know that I would not give something up if it fell on the Sabbath, even if it is much less trivial than a championship game.

      Hannah

  4. Anonymous says:

    I read the article about the Amish. I was amazed to the extent they go to to rule out technology. I think the process they go through is an excellent one. They realize that most of technology brings more harm than good and they eliminate it. I think it shows how valued community and relationships are. I was also surprised at how living with the Amish affected the bloggers life. He doesnt have a car or internet and after his interview I can easily see why. The opening example supports the Amish beliefs even more. It shows that through their trial they find the flaws of technology and get rid of it. I think America should be more like this. But we shouldn’t eliminate technology being used poorly, we should figure out how to change the way its being used. I this article I kept thinking this is user error, it has nothing to do with the actual cell phone itself. Its simply because people use it poorly that it becomes outlawed and abandoned.

    -Brody

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read the article about the Amish. I was amazed to the extent they go to to rule out technology. I think the process they go through is an excellent one. They realize that most of technology brings more harm than good and they eliminate it. I think it shows how valued community and relationships are. I was also surprised at how living with the Amish affected the bloggers life. He doesnt have a car or internet and after his interview I can easily see why. The opening example supports the Amish beliefs even more. It shows that through their trial they find the flaws of technology and get rid of it. I think America should be more like this. But we shouldn’t eliminate technology being used poorly, we should figure out how to change the way its being used. I this article I kept thinking this is user error, it has nothing to do with the actual cell phone itself. Its simply because people use it poorly that it becomes outlawed and abandoned. This is a perfect example of the avoid Christians. The Amish see the flaws and eliminate them. Its partly user error, but they know the world is using the technology and that these same instances happen all the time in American culture and thats why they stay away from it.

    -Brody

    • Thanh Nguyen says:

      I agree with you. From the article, I think the Amish’s act to get rid of technology also reflects the fact of the contemporary American culture: everyone is more and more rely on technology even though they understand its flaw. I also agree that we don’t need to completely abandon or eliminate technology like the Amish because in some limitations, technology still helps us a lot in our life. So, we just need to regulate how technology is used, and I believe we can do it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I read the article about the Star Spangled Banner not being sung by Goshen College. The people that go to that particular college are Anabaptist Mennonites. They don’t agree with the “Rocket’s red glare” part, because they believe, in essence, that it encourages humanism. They say that God alone grants freedom, which I agree with, but I think they are taking it out of context. These people, or at least this form of a protest they are starting, puts them in the “Avoid” category. They believe, even though almost all of culture accepts this song as our reminder of our national pride, it is so flawed in certain areas that they risk massive controversy. I believe this is wrong. Even if this isn’t the motivation for the students of Goshen College, they are stirring up unnecessary conflict. I think it is much better to keep peace than cause huge controversy over something so trivial.
    -Simon

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. The “Rocket’s red glare” criticism is taken completely out of context. If they had been there or had been inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner, I’m sure they would have written something similar. Yes, God grants freedom; but the song is only trying to honor those who died for it.

      -Becky

  7. Anonymous says:

    I read the article about Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney’s Mormonism and what people think of it. Jon Huntsman was born into a Mormon family. However, he doesn’t seem to make much of a big deal about it. In fact, he even admitted that he’s “not overly religious” and “gets satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies.” Some people like this more secular view from a political leader, but others seem him more as a moderate and think he doesn’t really stand behind what he believes. Mitt Romney, however, is a different story. Romney, born in 1947, grew up in a time when your religion was something that sets you apart from society and that you should stand behind. He often speaks of his beliefs as a Mormon and definitely stands behind them. For this reason, I think he is more of a transformation Christian. He doesn’t try to force his religion on people, but he is passionate about it. I would say Huntsman is more of a Blend In Christian. It seems he is just trying to say what people want to hear. Maybe he goes to church sometimes, but for the most part it seems that he doesn’t really believe what he says he does. He’s becoming more cultural than Mormon. This article also talked about how some people would rather vote for Huntsman than Romney because of his quietness about religion, but others would rather him be passionate about his beliefs. I agree with this; that it is always a split. I personally would rather have someone be passionate about their beliefs, even if I don’t agree with them, than have them not believe in anything at all.

    -Becky

  8. Merissa says:

    I read the article about the “facebook” for Jewish people. It was very interesting that someone came up with the idea of it, and I believe that even though it is probably viewed as extreme by most people today, it is a positive alternative for Facebook for the people who are not okay with the normal Facebook. One thing I did think was slightly extreme was the fact that men and woman are not allowed to interact at all on the site, so they have different networks. Although the website they have created is a healthy alternative to Facebook, I do not understand why the necessity to even have a site similar to Facebook is so prevelant. If people think that Facebook is so bad and in order to make it “pure” are going to such lengths, I don’t see why they don’t just save themselves the trouble and not be involved with social networking at all.

    • Hayden says:

      I agree with malissa, I think people should live their life that they want to. just because its different doesnt mean we should shun it, we should except it.

  9. Hayden says:

    I read about the Jewish high school. To sum up the artical, they give up their playoff spot to support this religous friday. I feel that their trying to be a role model for other people and that if you have a religon you should not be “in and out” and instead be IN or OUt. I think this artical is thrying to “blend”. People should respect religon wheather you are part of it or not, acnd i personally would praticipate in the event, but keep in mind what the importance of the day is.

    • Nicole says:

      I agree with this but I also think this could be considered Transform. The team is obviously involved with culture because they are involved in a tournament but want to bring God into it by honoring the Sabbath day. I think they set a great example but I probably wouldn’t follow it sadly.

  10. Joshua Rossi (2nd Period) says:

    I read the Amish and technology article. Although he was very inappropriate with minor, we see that he did not separate himself from culture like the Amish way asks and calls for. The man who was convicted dropped out of a program for a PhD at a technical university. This shows that even though he was supposed to be completely removed from culture he was not. And he used a cell phone, electricity, and other things to make this all possible. The funny thing is that he was driving a horse and carriage when he got arrested.

  11. Nicole says:

    I read the article about the Faceglat for Jewish people. People still want to be involved in a social media but don’t want all of the inappropriate behaviors that often come along with this new way of communicating. I would say this goes mostly under the category of Cover Up. These people still want to be a part of this culture but try to make it more moral. It could just be an excuse to have another way of communicating and think that by modifying it their culture will accept it more. I also think it could go under Paradox. They are trying to combine their culture and religion so that they can stay up to date with the world. I think Faceglat is a good idea but it’s kind of a cheesy way to get connected.

    • Thomas says:

      Haha, I like the use of the word cheesy :P, I was curious if their might be any room for at least of bit of transform in their worldview.

  12. Erin says:

    I read the article about the Christian professional soccer team. I really like how this team is run, it’s not about winning, but bringing glory to God. The article talks about how the coach wants his players to challenge each other to be better people, on and off the field. I definitely think that this team falls under the Transform category. They try and change the soccer culture, which also impacts their opponents and those who are in the stands. I agree with the coach on his view of sports and faith working together. He says, “Learning to strive together for excellence and unity in a competitive, challenging environment can help players grow and deepen their beliefs”. Another example of how they are Transform Christians is that some of the players have an outreach program called Urban Eagles. They are helping and transforming the community around them through sports and service.

    • Luke says:

      You made a good point by saying the team falls into the transform category. I would have to agree with you on that. Your last sentence was very powerful. Good job!

    • Katie O says:

      I agree that this team is in the transform catergory, and I am also amazed by how they can keep to this goal. Its very impressive.

  13. Luke says:

    I found the article on how social networks should be kosher very interesting. The conflict described in this article is how God fearing Christians and Jews are attempting to create a social network that does not have inappropriate pictures or obscene words.
    If I had to place a category on the people described in the article I would have to say they are a mix of avoid and blend culture. One way they are blend culture is they have taken the idea of a social network (Facebook) and created their own network. They created a social network called FaceGlat which is a “kosher version of Facebook”. I took the opportunity to check out the website and I found it strikingly similar to Facebook. There was a major difference that was very evident when I entered the site and it was the fact that there were different links for men and women. This strongly reveals the sites beliefs.
    On the other hand I also concluded that there is a culture of “avoid”. This was very evident in the article and on the website. They said on the article that FaceGlat is attempting and succeeding at creating a different type of social network. By intervening in the social network and making sure no inappropriate pictures or cuss words are used on the site causes it to fall into the “avoid” category.
    I really found this article to be fascinating and thought provoking. I would have to disagree and say that the traditional social network idea is the proper and correct type. But I have no problem with religions creating their own networks if that’s what they want.

  14. Thanh Nguyen says:

    I read the article “My Faith: Why I don’t sing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’”. The conflict described in the article is that the Mennonite Anabaptist and Goshen College don’t play the American anthem in their events anymore because they think it’s unnecessary for expressing their loyal and patriotism by that way. This decision attracts widespread concern and confusion.
    I think the Mennonite Anabaptists can be listed in “Avoid” category because of two reasons I found in the article. First of all, they continuously advocate for the strict separation of church and state. They want the church to truly be a church, not relating with any national symbols like state flag or national anthem. They want the church to simply be a place where only TRUE believers can express and practice their love and devotion for God: they reject the practice of infant baptism and only reserve water baptism for believers who confess a faith in Jesus. Secondly, the Mennonite Anabaptists argue that freedom is only granted and defended by God, not by the “rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting the air”. They believe that the world would not be the world – which most people confuse and focus on “economy centered on sharing and mutual aid”, claiming the freedom’s cost is war – because everything is under God’s dominion. Therefore, they prefer to express their loyal and allegiance for Jesus alone, and keep believing that not singing the anthem doesn’t reflect ingratitude or hatred the country like people think. To sum up, they keep advocating their concept even though it may cause contempt and confusion for people from other religions, which means they totally separate themselves from the common tendency and concept of the culture.
    The thing that most impresses me is their concept about freedom, which they continuously argue “only granted and defended by God, not by the “rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting the air”. In my opinion, I don’t think that God is the only one who can create and decide the freedom of people. This really doesn’t make any sense to me. If it does, so people’s entire attempt for freedom in human history is meaningless? And if war and conflict come, people just sit there and pray for God’s help without doing anything to protect their lives? Moreover, singing a national anthem is just a simple way to respect loyal and reminders of those sacrifices and it has no relation with religion in there because in a war, every life, every loss, every sacrifices is more realy than faith. I don’t want to reject to anyone’s faith but it’s unnecessary and too small to claim a conflict on a national anthem.

  15. Kaylee says:

    I read the article about the beliefs of Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. They both grew up in Mormon homes and are now both politicians. However they are different in what they believe now. Huntsman says he is not really religious anymore and Romney says he is still an active member in his church when he has the time. For Huntsman I say he is either cover up and control or blend in. He is cover up and control because he might not want the world to know what he believes so he is just covering it up and going with the rest of culture. He could also be blend in because he might not believe in Mormonism anymore and is just trying to blend in with culture. Romney however I would say is falls in the transform category because he stands up for what he believes in and doesn’t care what culture tells him to be and tells others about his religion. Like Becky I would rather have a leader who is passionate in what they believe in, whether his beliefs might not be the same as mine, than someone who isn’t sure what they believe in.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I read the article “Christian Pro Soccer Team”. According to the article, their purpose is not winning. Many people would think that doesn’t make sense and there is no reason of existence. But, the team are satisfied by scoring souls, not by scoring goals. That would be the reason of their existence. I think the response of the soccer team is kind of Avoid because the team has a discrimination against other teams. Scoring soul and glorifying God are the discrimination. I was impressed about how the team had the different purpose. But, I think it’s acceptable because I’m a Christian and I believe my purpose of existence is glorifying God.

    James Jee

  17. Thomas says:

    I read the article My Faith: Why I don’t sing the Star Spangled Banner. I chose the article initially just because the title was kind of interesting, but ultimately I felt that I actually agreed with many of the points in the article. I agree that are devotion should not be to a nation just because we’re born there, we should be devoted to whatever we believe is the ultimate authority in the cosmos, which to him (and me) is God. I also generally agree with the separation of church and state, as I believe it’s not only better for the religious institution, but I also believe it was something that was advocated by Jesus himself (“Render Onto Caesar”). Also, as he talks about in the article trying to gain acceptance in culture, which I also believe to something that all Christians must do successfully use the time God has given us on this earth. I would say the Worldview presented in this article most fits into the blend in approach to culture, which explains why I agree with the article so much, sense that’s approach I’m affiliated with.

    • Jacalyn says:

      We’ve been having fun with crepe paper at Impress. So far we’ve made wonderful red and pink medallion emebtlishmenls for Valentine packages and name tags and now we’ve turned green crepe paper into grass for our little bunny brads. We cut it with the fringed scissors. It’s fun to create with! Love your creative flower ideas here.

    • No importa que ya lo sepas, pero tú disfrutas del mundo y nosotros lo hacemos con tus crónicas MUCHAS GRACIAS!!! Ahora piensas que tiempo perdido haber planificado tanto el viaje, de la misma forma no prepares o te preocupes la vuelta, fluirá y sabrás valorar más cada pequeño detalle que antes era supérfluo, simplemente serás más feliz y consciente Felicidades por esa vida que has inicicado VssssssTu voto: 0  0

  18. Anonymous says:

    The article that I chose to read and respond to was about the beliefs of Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. Both of these individuals grew up in a Mormon household and both chose to become politicians. But through the years their beliefs have grown to differ. Huntsman, through his actions and words, demonstrates that he is no longer as actively religious as Romney, who is active in his church. Because Huntsman is no longer “affiliated” with his Mormon faith, he is probably a blend in. He stopped being affiliated to his Mormon faith making himself like everyone else in the culture. Romney on the other hand is probably a transformer. I think this because he stands up for what he believes and doesn’t allow the pop culture of today to sway him.

    Hannah

  19. Katie O says:

    I read the article on the sports team that tried to live their faith out on the field. They believed that they should play sports, but also play the sports fairly without cheating and lying. This sounds like a good plan, and I agree with what they are trying to say, but I think it is an uphill battle. I know personally how easy it is to get pulled into telling a refferie you didnt touch the ball before it went out or that when you’re running shoulder to shoulder with someone how simple you could throw them off by using an elbow. I think this team is a transform because of how they are openly trying to change something that is so well known. They dont let the promise of winning sway their morals, instead they stick to what they believe.

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