It was in the late 1980s I had an opportunity to meet an elderly gentleman in New Delhi, as a young missionary. He was indeed an old man using his walking stick and had a turban covering his hair. He used to attend an English worship service. That person shared his interesting experience as to how he became a follower of Lord Jesus Christ. “I am a Sikh but had an inner quest for truth. Then I purchased a bible and started reading the bible daily in my home. I was convinced that Lord Jesus Christ is the true eternal guru, Saviour and Lord. Then I decided to become a follower of Lord Jesus Christ. So, I started going to churches, and wanted to be baptized. However, wherever I went the pastors refused to baptize me with my long hair. They said you should cut your hair and then be baptized. It is my cultural identity, and I have not cut hair since my birth for over seventy years. Then I approached a Roman Catholic priest. He read me a passage from the bible, which was about Nazirite vow. (Numbers 6:1-21) He asked me to repurpose my cultural identity as consecration for the Lord. I decided to do so and I was baptized.”
However, there were zealous pastors who rejected his request for baptism, saying his baptism was invalid. They wanted to baptize him again, with his cultural identity of long hairs. But he refused.
Paul remained in Corinth and left along with Priscilla and Aquilla in his second missionary journey. (Acts 18:18-21) They sailed to Syria. In Cechrea, Paul made a vow, probably a Nazarite vow. (Numbers 6) He cut off his hair, now the new hair will be grown for a period of time. Then he will have the vow fulfilled in the Temple of Jerusalem. Paul used this Jewish practice of consecration unto the Lord.
There are some cultural practices in each culture that could be repurposed and consecrated to our Lord.
Do I repurpose and consecrate my cultural practices to the Lord?