Rick Warren's foreword for Should We Fire God?
And so was that. But that banal banter isn’t beneficial. Booyah.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is either being culturally adroit or caving to discriminatory practices.
When asked about how gay people should respond to Qatar’s perspective that homosexual relationships are wrong and illegal, his response was, “I would say they should refrain from sexual activities.” He said much more than that, and CNN’s coverage can be found
What should we make of that?
One of the most frequently repeated claims of Americans when we travel abroad is that we are loud, unkind and seemingly unaware that we aren’t still in the United States. That menus and road signs should always be in English, just with the Eiffel Tower or the canals of Venice in the background.
Personally, having been abroad myself (that sounds much more impressive than it really is: I have been to Eastern Europe once and Canada twice) and with many of my friends that also have, I question this perspective. I have no doubt that some Americans are all of those things and more. The ones that would complain about the need to convert to the Euro or that they drive on wrong side of the road. Okay, in Canada (when I was in High School) some of the menus were in English, and the biggest difficulty we faced was a highly vigilant French teacher/chaperon named Madame Patton. Honestly, I think we tried to sneak out every night we were there and she got us every single time!
But I have digressed.
So, those of us who don’t behave that way find a way to accommodate the culture we are traveling into. That is part of the intrigue of travel, living a normal day in a very different environment with different inputs all around. Simply put, we adjust to it.
All my friends that are overseas missionaries do the same, just to a much larger degree. They adopt the nuances of the culture where they are living. Thankfully the days of a bunch of Christians walking into a village and trying to make them white protestants are long over. Certainly there is truth that the missionaries are wanting to communicate, but they do it with a great deal of respect for the lives that the people are already living.
So, the question that this raises is, “How much is too much accommodation?” Where is the line that just shouldn’t be crossed and how do we figure out what it is? We certainly wouldn’t want to insist that those who live in Qatar agree with all our views, just as we wouldn’t want to be expected to believe all theirs. So, where is the line?
I know a few people that are missionaries in closed countries that live under a constant understanding that they are not free to exercise their faith, or any of the practices of it, in a public manner. They choose to be in those countries because they love the people there and want to be a means that God can speak in that environment. Is that different from someone choosing to go to Qatar to watch the World Cup? Is this the same thing?