Our culture influences us greatly, doesn’t it? Whenever you want to learn about a group of people or their national identity, it is common to study their culture. You find out how things are done, what things mean to them, what their accepted norms and general societal expectations are, and even what they eat. When I was in fifth grade we spent several weeks studying world cultures. We concluded this study by celebrating one of these cultures in a special day that included making decorations, telling their native stories and enjoying foods from that people group. It was an incredibly fun time for the entire class!
Have you ever considered how this relates to the Christian notion of being “in the world but not of it”? We don’t have to live in any particular location to have Adonai’s culture. HIS culture is spiritual and transcends geography. This is one way that we are “set apart” and can look very strange to our society. We can have HIS culture regardless of where we live. Living out our loving obedience to YHWH and His Son Yeshua the Messiah is the “culture” that should color our thoughts, ideas, and actions. We truly are citizen of another Kingdom, not of this earth, and our lives should demonstrate that reality.
If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. But because you do not belong to the world — on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world — therefore the world hates you. ~~ John 15: 18-19
I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world — just as I myself do not belong to the world. I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth — your word is truth. ~~ John 17: 14-17
Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; because all the things of the world — the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life — are not from the Father but from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever. ~~ 1 John 2: 15-17