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CultureTo all humanity in all its cultures& Christ
communities often define their identity by means of their cultural practices. This is often reflected in their particular language or dialect and in customs relating to birth, marriage and death. The effect of these is so deep in the social psyche of many groups that some political movements have risen and fallen upon this factor.
As an
accumulation of social traditions, 'culture' will always be a mixed bag in its ethical character. Its influence is often so subtly pervasive that it will even affect human perspective to some degree – that is to say, the way we 'see' things. For this reason, the personal illumination of Christ within an individual's relationship to God, should at some stage cause corrective variance from the general cultural norm of that particular person's community, which may naturally result in social conflict as a side-effect.
national regulations of Israel illustrate His attitude to group identity and political or racial nationalism. In spite of Israel's strong common national tradition and covenant, tribal distinctions among them were to be maintained forever, even if it restricted personal freedom, such as in the choice of a marriage partner.An example recorded for us is that of the family of Zelophehad of the tribe of Manasseh who had no male heir. His daughters would then naturally by marriage become part of the tribe of their husband whichever that happened to be in Israel.
to maintain tribal distinctions within the nation of Israel God laid down a stern restriction, so that nothing of Zelophehad's inheritance in Manassseh would become that of another tribe in Israel.
"This is what the Lord has commanded for Zelophehad's daughters:
   'Let them marry whomever they think best, only they must marry within the family of the tribe of their father
In this way the inheritance of the Israelites will not be transferred from tribe to tribe.
But every one of the Israelites must retain the ancestral heritage.
[General rule given:] And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from any of the tribes of the Israelites must become the wife of a man from any family in her father's tribe, so that every Israelite may retain the inheritance of his fathers.
No inheritance [of land] may pass from tribe to tribe.
But every one of the tribes of the Israelites must retain its inheritance."

precautionary check
of 'nationalism' by
preventing the
merging of tribes.
Modern Zionism
violates this principle

Numbers 36:6-9
entrenched the distinction of tribal areas and thus local identity which led to language differences that at one stage helped distinguish the men of Ephraim from other Israelites and so cost them 42,000 lives in their civil war (Judges 12:6).
This strong emphasis on the retention of tribal group identity helped to curb the development of a centralized nationalism, and later allowed for the Lord's split of Israel into two states in the time of Rehoboam son of Solomon (I Kings 11:31; 12:2).
This regional curb was particularly necessary in view of powerful unifying factors which provided the raw material for a strongly centralized nationalistic state; such as is today envisaged in the minds of some Jewish Zionists; and reached its apogee in European history in the racist ideal of the Aryan Nazi state.
on the other hand, the 'sacralizing' of regional culture or cultural groupings, indigenous or otherwise, has no place in a healthy mind or a Spirit-filled life. For many persons, respect for cultural issues is more than a respect for the life experience of others including ancestors, as it ought to be. It becomes an element in personal identity. This is sad, for it not only indicates a deficient sense of personal identity but also discriminates among other human beings on issues that have no direct moral value.

  Superseded by a New Identity  
When the Bible gives us the declarations –  
•  "Here [among Christians] there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all"; Colossians 3:11
•  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"; Galatians 3:28
it is
making a powerful statement concerning the unconditionally common character of Christianity.
This disallows the division of Christian identity on any kind of cultural ground.
national, social, cultural or economic divisions may never in any way be allowed to diminish to the slightest degree the common identity and character of the Christian church. This is stated each time in the Christian act of taking Holy Communion together as it should be.
Language or cultural distinctions, and culturally-focused methods of evangelism are never to be allowed in any way to diminish this sense of common identity in Christ. This new identity is more than a theological principle. It is the renewal of all human relationships within the nature of Christ's character and human identity before God; toward objects and animals as well as toward people.
In other words, people, animals and objects are to be viewed by Christians as God sees them, within the full range of His responses, reflecting His character as shown in Holy Scripture and testified to by His Spirit. This shows itself particularly when special concerns conflict. Priorities then call for God's attitude and values to be dynamically expressed in us. Although the Christian Church has historically failed in this, it in no way diminishes God's intentions concerning our attitude to cultures - our own, as much as toward others.
Beginning with the first-century church of James in Jerusalem which failed to live beyond it's cultural identity and so died with the demise of the Jewish city, through the early centuries in which so-called church ecumenical councils regarded their decisions as binding on all believers, in disregard of Christian identity beyond the bounds of Rome's imperial footprint, cultural arrogance has continued to plague both Christian identity and mission methodologies.
In the light of the above therefore, any kind of practice, no matter how strong the cultural obligation may be to conform to custom, and however widespread that custom may be (whether British or Roman Empire-wide), if there is any kind of conflict with the character and commands of Christ, in any way whatsoever, it is of no validity and must be utterly discarded while being careful not to disrespect the persons involved or so compromised.
for customs and places is simply respect for the people who value them –
which is the way of love, Christ's love,
without any compromise with factors that are divisive, or with those which dishonour others.
But I have heard
it preached by certain church leaders in Africa that Christ's blood does not cleanse from the shadows of the ancestors and that therefore if a person is named negatively after an ancestor that particular ancestral spirit is to be addressed and an animal sacrifice offered for cleansing.
This idea is not only pagan in principle, but it is an offence to God concerning His personal relationship to all believers for to them He gave His Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 30 AD/CE.  
A strong stand needs to be taken against such corruption of Christianity, including the following!
1. Veneration of Ancestors  
Many rationalizations, particularly in Africa, have been used to justify customary practices by Christians in making offerings to the ancestors or appealing to the ancestors in prayer. The Bible is to the point when it says:
 "Do NOT turn to the spirits of the dead..." 
Leviticus 19:3.
  All forms of worship and prayer are to be directed to God alone, and to no other! There is no middle ground on this issue.  
2. Debasing Marriage to Ownership  
In some traditional communities such as in Africa, on the death of a man the family property and his children revert to the parents of the deceased husband in total disregard of the rights of his widow and mother of his children. She is treated as simply having been his provider of a sex and child-bearing service to their son, and so she looses everything, even her own children. To thus debase their son's act of marriage to his acquirement of property is to violate everything that a marriage, every marriage is, in God's design. It is blasphemous! The male is the leader and protector of the home, but the Bible makes it very clear that at a personal intimate level there is absolute equality between husband and wife.
"For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.
the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does."
God's Mind on Marriage

1 Corinthians 7:4
God set the tone for this when, in the very beginning, he addressed humanity concerning their authority over their environment as – "God said to them" both, and not simply to the male/Adam as the head/leader/guide/protector of the household.
Genesis 1:28
3. Veneration of the Land  
Animism's reverence for land, as having a spiritual connection to the people living on it, has impregnated some Christian thinking, polluting it with a syncretism that corrupts the purity of the identity of the people of God as undivided by geography or nationality.
When Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all 'nations' He was not referring to discipling political or national entities, but simply to all peoples; not in terms of their group identity, but as sinners personally lost and needing individual salvation. Attempting to align prayer with national or political identity, such as so-called 'spiritual mapping' in church-growth movement circles, is not of God and represents a contamination by animist perspectives.
Animism in Christ's Church Today
4. Clan Loyalty Above Morality  
In some cultures, crimes within a community are hidden for fear of bringing shame upon the clan or local group. As a consequence, child-rape, incest, and other violations of human value, are hidden and thereby allowed to perpetuate rather than humiliate the clan's image by exposure and prosecution. This evil invites God's judgment upon the clan. (See 5.)
It was an expanded form of this group-loyalty-above-morality that blinded the minds of non-Nazis in Nazi Germany on their inhuman behaviour toward those considered less human, and allowed such atrocities, to the perpetual shame of the German nation.
5. Cleansing Rituals  
On South Africa's Youth Day (June 16) in commemoration of the role of young people toward the racial liberation of their country, its Gauteng provincial government participated in a 'cleansing' ceremony by traditional-healer/'sangomas' for those who had died in its struggle for liberation. If the idea is that anything anyone could do can affect or improve the welfare of those who are already in God's hands through death, whether a sangoma ceremony or a church mass, it is an insult to God! No Christian of any kind can therefore participate in any such ceremony, no matter what their office of responsibility may be, and no punitive effect of withdrawal from such a ceremony can be greater than the displeasure of God.
6. Initiation Rituals  
In some parts of the world, scarification and other initiation rituals, not only dishonour the human body, but (when the blood of another specie such as the African monkey is rubbed into the wounds help viruses jump the species barrier) are an insult to God our Creator.
Gift of the African Sangoma
to humanity.

The story of the deliberate development of HIV by a US agency is total nonsense invented originally by Russia's old KGB
as part of Cold War
Soviet propaganda!
See also: Church & HIV/AIDS
Please Note!
It is most probable, and far more likely than any other explanation, that the Sangomas (shamans) or Nyangas (witch-doctors) of Central Africa have, by this practice, given the world the HIV plague or pandemic with its devastating effects across the globe.
Monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have the simian virus that is ancestor to the AIDS virus in humans, which African monkeys on the other hand have been shown to carry;
Fresh monkey blood rubbed into ritual scarification-wounds is a far more likely route into humans, than the eating of monkey or chimpanzee meat, for this is almost always cooked which destroys the fragile virus.
Scarification-ritual is thus the most likely HIV route, beginning somewhere near the region of the Congo River basin.
circumcision killings
In addition, a lack of adequate hygiene by practitioners of the traditional initiation schools in South Africa during male circumcision regularly kills more than fifty young boys a year in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa alone every year. The perverse tendency to see cultural tradition as a sacred right has largely made the guilty persons unaccountable for their negligence or ignorance.
7. Cruel Practices  
In some cultures, the pain and suffering of an animal before and during its ritual slaughter is regarded as a necessary part of its religious offering. This is an insult to the Creator of all things and therefore, not only can a Christian not participate, every Christian is obligated to do all that can be done to prevent this.
8. Albino Killings  
Africa, and particularly Tanzania, has seen an upsurge of the murder of albinos (persons lacking the melanin colourant in their skin) for the use of their body-parts for magic purposes in business and health.
9. Marriage by Abduction and Rape  
In the Xhosa area of South Africa among the Mpondo People of rural Eastern Cape, it has been an old cultural practice to use abduction and rape as an socially acceptable method of taking a bride by force (Amapondo 'Ukutwala'). Forced marriage of under-age girls is still tolerated in some areas as a tribal custom, particularly in recent times in a resurgence of indigenous culture. Girls who report their abduction and rape to the police are often repudiated by their community as having no right to resist their abduction and rape because it is a tribal custom and therefore they have other motives. Parents have often been complicit for the sake of receiving a bride-price/compensation/dowry ('lobola') from the man. (As at 2012, at least 14 such cases had been reported to police since June 2009).
10. Traditional Healers  
Please Note!
"Sierra Leone’s Ebola crisis has been traced back to a single healer in an isolated border village, who had claimed to be in possession of special powers to cure the deadly disease that started penetrating the border from Guinea, it has emerged.
'She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola and so Ebola cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment,'
a top medical official, Mohamed Vandi, who was based in the crisis-struck Kenema district, told AFP.
'She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected,' (from embracing her corpse)
he told the news agency.
The woman was based in the eastern border village of Sokoma." (Reported August 20, 2014.)
Sadly in addition, home burials in some rural villages often mean according to tribal custom the family of the deceased drinking the water used to wash the corpse which then contaminates many more.

So In Conclusion
Any social
constraints that inhibit spiritual freedom to fully follow Christ are cultural bondage. From this, the death of Christ has set us free!
Colossians 2:20.
Christianity is not a passive state. It is a lifestyle, which confronts in wisdom all that contradicts God,
according to the priorities which the love of God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit dictate daily.
Less than this is
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Snake-Wisdom Animism in Christ's Church Today 84 Common 'Christian' Fallacies
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