In certain cultures, there are aspects that are not right in God’s sight, approved and accepted. For example, there is one community, and their livelihood is stealing. All are involved in stealing sheep, chicken, eggs, paddy, shoplifting…etc. They also organised to steal by waylaying trucks that brought goods. Among them went a Christian evangelist to serve. He befriended a man and gave him a bible to read.
He occasionally read and somehow when he read the Ten Commandments he was scared. “You shall not steal,” the commandment really touched him. He was confused, tensed, and immediately ran to the evangelist. He said, “Sir, I cannot read this book. This is a dangerous book.” Puzzled evangelist asked him why? He said: “Stealing is my profession and livelihood. Our whole community has lived like this for generations. We cannot change, please keep this book for yourself.” According to his culture and traditions, stealing was right, honourable. The evangelist gently asked him, how much will he need for him to live a life without stealing. He said, “Rupees ten per day.” He explained God can give that amount to him, without stealing. As the evangelist insisted that he take the book with him and read. As he left a few metres riding on his bicycle, he found a paper fluttering in the bush. It was like a currency. He stopped, and looked at the ten rupees currency, which was fresh.
Picking that money, he came back to the evangelist and said: “Your God is great. See I have got money for today. It is a miracle.” Slowly, he was able to receive the Lord, his life was transformed. He became an honest small businessperson with a loan given by the mission agency. His family members, extended family and the whole village came to know the Lord. One church was built in his village, and he was one of the pillars of the new church. Once he used to loot from others, now he is generous to others. Gospel judges cultures and transforms culture.
Has gospel transformed me, or have I transformed culture?