Before the World began

Taken from one of my favourite songs: Before the world began you were on his mind, every tear you cry is precious in his eyes.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My cultural/ethnic history

Hi, I have been giving alot of thought over the last few years to my ethnicity and what I write down when filling in forms etc. I strongly dislike the term European Pakeha as I am not from Europe and I am not Pakeha. I am of pale complexion with light coloured hair who was born in NZ. God saw fit for me to be born here. But I am just passing through the essence of my life does not lie here on earth - this is just a practice for the main event! As far as my bloodlines go I am a very mixed bag with lots of different ethnic groups involved in there some I which I can prove and some I can't. I am very tired of being put into a box and marginalised because of who I was born as.

There is a deep need these days for people to discover who they are and who they identify with but I feel that this is getting a little out of hand especially in the church. I know some people will be offended by what I am saying and I am not trying to offend just provide a different viewpoint. I believe that when we give our lives to Christ that we join his family and gain a special new identity. We should then be trying to discover what the Bible says about our identity and the culture we should be embracing should be the culture of holiness and purity.

Ironically over a month ago when my husband and I were discussing this topic we both acknowledged that we actually feel more comfortable with the Jewish culture than with our own. I wonder what God has to say on this topic and what he would have us do in regards to our cultural heritage. As has been said by numerous different people every culture and ethnic group in the world has done things that we cannot be proud of ( it is part of being human - everyone makes mistakes) so therefore shouldn't we as Christians be holding to our new Christ-focussed identity and doing everything to reflect Christ in all we say and do. 'For behold I am a new creation, the old things have passed away and all things have become new'.


  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger A. J. Chesswas said…

    Hi Karen. I understand your sentiment that we are all the family of God, and this matters most. So true, even Jesus said "who are my brothers and sisters, and my mother?", referring to the church rather than his biological family.

    Nonetheless, I think it is important to honour your ancestors, and honour the concept of race.

    Ancestors, because so much of what we have is because of the sacrifices they made, and also so much of what we suffer is because of the choices they have made. If we neglect this we fail to get an understanding of how things affect people across generations, and you end up with a nation full of people who make choices for today rather than tomorrow - a nation like New Zealand.

    Race, because it has been ordained by God since the tower of Babel, to ensure mankind does not unite as one against him. The Book of Revelations says every tribe and tongue will be before his throne. Each race has its own culture - something distinctive, a special flavour, a special aroma to bring before the throne of God.

    Sure, some cultures are superior to others, particularly classical Jewish culture. And we must expect this given they were the chosen ethnic race by which God first made his name known to the world. What is interesting, though, is many cultures traditionally carried similar values and traditions to the Jewish culture. Jews value family as Maori doe whakapapa, and as the Brits once did the extended family. In the same way Maoridom and Britanni shared similar role descriptions for men and women, and even share similar ways of perceiving nature.

    I say all this from what I have learnt through my tertiary studies, and would prefer not to have to do an in-depth piece to prove my point. I hope, though, that I am at least addressing some of the issues you are raising.

  • At 11:42 PM, Blogger Warwick Tomlinson said…

    Preach it sister. I understand that as a New Zealand statistic i must be placed in a box, but after hearing what 'pakeha' means i am positive that i don't like that box, therefore other questions are raised who am i? where do i fit?

    I am a branch grafted into the tree of Jesus, David, Jacob, Abraham ultimately right back to Adam but my father came from England.

    Next time it comes up i may just tick the 'other' box

  • At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Rayd said…

    im being thrown around here, firstly i was totally argeeing with karen, but then a.j started swaying my thoughts. In fact i dont think either of you are wrong, the bible never contradicts itself, but i think its just a whole lot more complicated and that both tie into each other. i think that we have to be in a group of our own because after all our culture is very different to other people in New Zealand that don't follow christ, but we still have to acknowledge the past, because like a.j said we suffer because of the choices our ancestors have made. Had Hitler studied the past he would have realised that napolean lost to the russians because he didnt think and he would have not done the same stupid mistake that napolean did. An aknowledgement of the jewish culture is also important because there is still so much more to come for the jews, and although God has accepted all people, the jews are still his chosen, and by forgeting their culture we forget what God has done for them in the past, what He is doing for them, and what he will do for them.

  • At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Enjoyed a lot! here


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