August 2021 | Resurrection Hope

Ethnocentrism
1
1

Ethnocentrism

Dr. John K. Mathew

"An ethnic group or ethnicity is a popular group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or a shared cultural tradition".

 Ethnicity refers to cultural factors,including nationality, regional culture,  ancestry and language. Race, however refers to a person's physical  characteristics, such as bone structure and skin,hair or eye color. 

The world in which we live is an ethnological museum. There is diversity in language, culture, belief, fashion and life altogether. "Unity in diversity is a popular slogan in India. How can we achieve true unity in diversity? The only answer is in the Bible. Jesus sent his followers to make disciples of all the nations or peoples of the world. As John takes us to the throne room of heaven, we see the fulfilment of Jesus' mandate. It reads, "After I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God,who sits on the throne, and the Lamb." (Rev.7:9,10). 

It is the responsibility of each one of us to bring our neighbor to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.Only upon breaking barriers we can achieve that goal.Unfortunately,often time we become so ethnocentric. What is ethnocentrism? It is not only the false assumptions we make about others based on our own limited experience but also maintains the view that our ways are the best. Peter was limited by this false assumption. A major breakthrough in race relations is described in Acts 10. For years a virtual wall between Jews and Gentiles had hampered the Apostles in sharing Jesus with the gentile world. The book,"The Ultimate A to Z Resource", suggests,  "But when Peter met Cornelius - an officer of Roman occupation troops in Palestine, two conversions took place:  Cornelius,his family,and his friends came to faith; and Peter came to realise that God wants Gentiles in the church." 

In the Indian churches, there are people form a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is unfortunate and sad to see that the Indian churches drastically fail to identify with the poor and downtrodden. A radical change in our attitude is required from heaven!

The Antioch church is a model for what God's people ought to be and do. Like most cities today, Antioch was racially diverse and culturally pluralistic. As a  result when the scattered believers arrived they had to wrestle with how to make the gospel meaningful for the diverse groups. 

According to Ken Anderson, four factors help to account for their success. First of all they saw ethnic division as a barrier to overcome rather than a status quo to be maintained. Secondly, they have developed multi-ethnic leadership.The church employed and deployed pastors, teachers and evangelists who reflected the composition of the community. Thirdly, they sent out ministry teams. Just as the church at Antioch had been established by believers from Jerusalem, it, too, sent out ministry teams to tell the story of Jesus. Finally,they joined together to accomplish projects of compassion. 

Overall,Antioch became the model for how the church ought to function when surrounded by diversity and cultural pluralism.God's family has no place for prejudice.If we change our attitude,we would see God change our churches and begin to transform our culture. 

Other Articles from same author

Abundant Life

A boy asked his mother.Mom, at what age do people die?The mother said, go to a nearby cemetery, read...Read More

Dual Citizen

The phrases 'Kingdom of Heaven' and 'Kingdom of God' are found more than eighty times in the New Tes...Read More

HOW TO PRAY

An important lesson that the Lord’s prayer teaches us is the complete submission of the one who pr...Read More

“TETELESTAI”

Traditionally, a dying person’s words are taken seriously. This is certainly true in the case of J...Read More

FESTIVALS

Three times a year all males in Israel were required to appear before God; at the feast of Passover,...Read More

Who Will Go?

In John chapter 4, we see our Lord Jesus Christ ministers to a variety of people.The sinful Samarita...Read More

The Grace of God

Auschwitz is a terrible place.The worst of the Nazi death camps, where more than a million people lo...Read More

Be Compassionate

In the famous story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus talks about how a priest and a Levite ignore the di...Read More

The Lone Star

It is easy for us to define history as, "History is the record of what man thought, said and done". ...Read More

The Rest Follows

"Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way". (1 Cor:14:40)This is Apostle Paul's conclu...Read More

"Ecclesia"

Scripture indicates that the universal church was born on the Day of Pentecost. Many theologians bel...Read More

Freedom

One of the greatest motivating factors for people throughout the world today is the quest for freedo...Read More

WITNESS

A few years ago I was involved in a car accident. A car that came from the opposite direction h...Read More

Grow Up to Him

We live in a time when people attain physical maturity at an early age. A recent study reveals ...Read More

Jehovah Rapha

A number of names for God are found in the scriptures, for no one name, or even multiplicity of name...Read More

Ethnocentrism

"An ethnic group or ethnicity is a popular group whose members identify with each other on the basis...Read More

Let Us Shine

The Romans had a practice of lighting up their tombs. In several instances, gigantic candles or...Read More

I Like Christmas

Unlike the Old Testament, which describes and mandates the observation of a number of religious fest...Read More

Be Still

2020 was a year of great expectation:The whole world thought 2020 would mark a leap in human histor...Read More

ENVIRONMENT

Psalm 29 ascribes to the Lord all power and authority over nature.The Canaanites worshiped natural f...Read More

Humility

It was a Sunday. History refers to it is the Palm Sunday. Jesus Christ, the King of kings and...Read More

Divine Healing

Divine healing is a major theme in the Scriptures - an important topic in the Old Testament and the ...Read More

Renew Your Mind

According to an October 29, 1994, story from the Reuters news agency, a Chinese woman named Zhang Me...Read More

There is Hope

The "prodigal son" did not have a cell phone; and he had no access to the internet. He had not even ...Read More

Baptism

The Jews baptized Gentile converts, whereas John the Baptist baptized the Jews.His baptism was autho...Read More

Pentecostalism

Pentecost means 'fiftieth' because this feast was held fifty days after the Feast of First fruits. I...Read More

Abode of Joy

Randy Alcorn is an author who has written extensively about heaven.The introduction of his book 'Hea...Read More

Be Content

In his book 'Count It All Joy'  David Jeremiah, cites a poem that expresses the discontent so p...Read More

The Glory of God

The Gentile nations had their temples, priests, religious laws, and sacrifices, but only the nation ...Read More

Homage to a Hero

The influx of people to kumbanad during the days of the funeral of Pastor T. S. Abraham was a clear ...Read More

Commitment

John Izzo is a bestselling author who holds advanced degrees in religion and psychology. In his book...Read More

Watch and Wait

In his book,  'Man's Search for Meaning', Victor Frankl, a successor of Sigmund Freud at Vienna...Read More

Money Matters

Money is the God of this world. Some scholars think the word 'mammon' comes from an Aramaic root mea...Read More

Morality

Morality is the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct or a system of id...Read More

The Rugged Cross

The trial and death of Jesus Christ revealed both the wicked heart of men and the gracious heart of ...Read More

Addiction

A man given to drink once said to a preacher, "After all, Jesus turned water into wine"! His re...Read More