Gospel and Culture

In Bafia, church leaders and members of the Bible translation teams shared what they learned in the Gospel and Culture Seminar (August 2017):

  1. I learned to differentiate between traditional culture and religion and also, to know how to prepare well before doing cultural research, as well as what is called functional substitution.
  2. After this training, I give myself to do research in my own culture.
  3. I now understand that to bring the gospel to my culture, I must seek the absolute context of the culture and know how to replace when there is change.
  4. I discovered from this seminar that in culture, everything is not negative and that from an approach by in-depth research, I will manage to reconcile certain points between the Gospel and culture. Also, in everyday life considering culture and the Gospel, there are two different aspects: the visible and the invisible. Only research will allow me to get the most benefit for the good of my community. Do not trust appearances, prejudices, but have a very analytical look. This training commits me to more listening to God to bring to my community innovations compared to our old ways of looking at our culture as entirely contrary to the Gospel. Now research will be my point of support.
  5. I am very happy to have met several pastors in this seminar. I pray to God that soon this number will increase. This training allows me to improve what I do wrong by ignorance. Not to limit people in their way of listening, rather listen carefully, take what is good and know how to bring them back to the truth.
  6. The place and importance of culture in the formation and presentation of the Gospel is great. This training commits me to research, to questions, in fact, not to be passive and indifferent to what is happening around me and in my community. You have to question and dig to find out what is at the bottom of habits, attitudes, customs, rites etc. I will use all possible means of communication to bring the Gospel to mine (language, dance, the arts etc.). I believe that thanks to this seminar, I have just been equipped on a personal level and this will boost my ministry and make it even more effective.
  7. To bring the gospel to my culture of origin or service, I will use the methods learned at the seminar. This kind of seminar will have to be repeated and even intensified in our communities to appeal to many people who are aware of the will of our God.
  8. I discovered a new environment. A way of seeing things and understanding the physical and spiritual world. Before I was limited according to my social rank. I also discovered that God wants to use me in many spiritual, cultural or social areas. I'm getting to work. I am on the ground with God so that the truth of God is put into practice. I'm going to arm myself with the arms of God and I'm also going to try to be a model according to God and not according to men. This seminar remains for me the confirmation of several revelations that I have had from God. Because the future of the world, of our country, family, village, tribute etc. is in the hands of the church.
  9. I made new discoveries. To get the gospel message across in a community, you need to have an idea of ​​the worldview of that community. Elements of culture can be used to get the gospel message across more easily. the gospel is not bad news that just prohibits certain practices without substitution. You have to put the world view of the Bible against the world view of the community and find ways to adapt the culture while avoiding syncretism. I need to start researching to learn more about my culture in order to get the gospel message across. And I'm going to observe the elements of culture better than in the past. This seminar is very important but the duration was too short. To recommend to missionaries working especially in rural areas where the habits and customs are still very present.
  10. From this seminar, I draw reliable information. This training leads me to work hard. To bring the gospel, I must educate the people to recognize God as the Supreme Being.
  11. I have learned the use of art in communicating the gospel, and the possibility and need to find substitutes for culture in our communities. I engage in cultural research. I must first try to get to know the culture well and avoid shocking, frustrating while also avoiding any compromise. I’m going to look more for the arts in the Bible.
  12. I made new discoveries: the world view and the Biblical world view, traditional religions, research. I have to keep my eyes open or watch what is going on around us, it always has a message. To bring the gospel to my culture or service, I should know in advance what my people’s worldview is and use what is good in my culture. I thank the partner CABTAL.
  13. I learned a lot in the field of art. I have to put myself in the deep research of the culture of my home! I must know it in depth in order to know what to criticize or proscribe in the light of the Gospel. This seminar brought me a lot. Really that such meetings are multiplying. Thank you !
  14. This training opens my eyes to observe well, analyze in order to act and that in my culture everything is not to reject see trivialize; but you have to see what is good and integrate it for the proclamation of the Gospel.