Some Things Transcend Culture

Spencer MacCuish —  August 17, 2011 — 2 Comments

Over the years (the past two weeks included) I have had the opportunity to interact with many different cultures in many places around the world.   In early 2006 I started keeping a list of all of the things that transcend culture I thought I might share parts of that list:

  1. It does not matter what culture you are in, the absence of deodorant alongside a warm environment results in a wretched body odor.
  2. It does not matter what culture you are in, students who do not have their work done always have an excuse for why they are delinquent.
  3. It does not matter what culture you are in, traffic congestion causes tensions to flare.
  4. It does not matter what culture you are in, poverty is oppressive.
  5. It does not matter what culture you are in, the vehicle with the largest size has the right of way (although this is occasionally trumped by the car that is in worst condition).
  6. It does not matter what culture you are in, governments are corrupt.
  7. It does not matter what culture you are in, little boys (sometimes older) are often seen with their hands down their pants.
  8. It does not matter what culture you are in, Coca-Cola has been there and is still there.
  9. It does not matter what culture you are in, everyone is complaining about cell phone service.
  10. It does not matter what culture you are in, ministry is difficult/painful/challenging  (I am not sure why this one surprised me, but last night I was speaking with a friend of mine who was dealing with a difficult circumstance in the church where he pastors.  People are vying for power, being divisive and slandering other members of the church body.  This sort of thing unfortunately is something that transcends culture.).
  11. It does not matter what culture you are in, sin in all of its forms is common (This week a friend of mine was counseling an African Bible college student.  This student had confessed to struggling with pornography/masturbation, in his despair the student stated he thought he was the only one who struggled with this sin. This unfortunately is a lie that transcends culture. Sexual sin is also a sin that obviously transcends culture.).

So what is the take away?  Crossing cultural bounds is always interesting for the noted differences and often the similarities that are noted between very diverse cultures are superficial at best.  But a similarity that should be noted is that sin does indeed transcend culture.

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Spencer MacCuish

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Spencer spent most of the 90’s as summer staff at Hume Lake Christian Camps. He also spent several years as a youth pastor in the Santa Clarita Valley, coaching volleyball, and teaching English and History in the public school system. Spencer has been involved with Eternity Bible College since its inception and is currently serving as the Dean of Students. He and his wife, Tina, have three beautiful daughters.
  • Preston

    This was classic, bro!

  • Travis Southern

    I would add the temptation for younger, freshly educated ministers to struggle with pride leading to conflicts with their older, more experienced counterparts.