I was visiting with a dear friend today who mentioned the difference between what she called "cultural Christianity," adapting Christianity to fit within one's own cultural context, and "Cross Christianity," allowing the Cross of Christ to redefine us within our cultural context. In other words, I don't want to make Jesus fit the demands of my world; I want to allow Him to change me and bring His life into my world.
It is a fascinating topic for me, as I've been able to observe the unintentional damage done when well-meaning groups have brought the gospel prepackaged along with their own cultural norms. It's like diluting Living Water with some other substance before serving it to a thirsty world.
There are beautiful things in every culture on this planet of ours, and no one is better than any other. Other nations don't need "Jesus plus capitalism," or "Jesus plus conservative politics," etc. Just Jesus: He alone is more than enough for all the suffering and injustice on our great big spinning ball.
How tragic to water down the gospel with superfluous ideas or requirements from one's own cultural disposition or personal opinion, when one could rather redeem his culture with the unadulterated message of the Father's love and Christ's finished work on the Cross.
As a believer, is my faith diluted by the culture around me, or is my faith redeeming the culture around me?