By Edwin & Sophia Christiaan

According to the dictionary, the word “culture” means among other things a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period or the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.

Each country has different cultural activities, cultural rituals, behaviors, customs, traditions, beliefs, and values. Culture is also the way people think about themselves and the way they understand the world. By keeping their cultural ways, they basically express who they are and where they come from.

Most cultures in this world are infected by evil spirits, which is not a surprise, since this world is the kingdom of darkness, ruled by Satan and his Demons who are working overtime fighting people and Christians alike to keep them in bondage and from knowing the truth of Christ that can set them free.

That is why the Bible says that; we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

In some cultures for instance, it is normal for a married man to have affairs with women, even if he calls himself a Christian. Nobody seems to fuss or make a big deal about it. In other cultures, it is quite normal for women to dominate men.

We have experienced how a set of rules called “The Law of Jante” [pronounced: Yontae] has influenced the behavior of the Scandinavian people in the countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Here is what it says:

You’re not to think you are anything special.
You’re not to think you are as good as us.
You’re not to think you are smarter than us.
You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than us.
You’re not to think you know more than us.
You’re not to think you are more important than us.
You’re not to think you are good at anything.
You’re not to laugh at us.
You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
You’re not to think you can teach us anything.
You’re not to think that there aren’t a few things we know about you.

These evil rules have caused the Scandinavian people over time to become very withdrawn, acting highly suspicious, cynical, conniving, nosy, fearful, rude, and dishonest. As a newcomer, you are on “probation” until you prove yourself. Paradoxically, when it comes to criminal issues, the general population has a tendency to sympathize with the criminal, giving leniency in punishment out of so-called “understanding” of where “the system” has failed him, and therefore in many ways, it fails to provide proper justice for victims.

You will also find this same type of cultural mentality in the European country of Holland, where I lived and experienced much rejection and persecution. I remember meeting, in the Caribbean, a Dutch prophet in the mid-nineties who warned me saying: “You won’t be able to deal with the Dutch people and their culture; they will hurt you!” He went further on to say, that the reason was because Dutch people are very critical and judgmental, self-righteous, merciless, unfaithful, cold, and absolutely not generous. They will always want to get the best of you. They tolerate you with a great deal of suspicion, instead of embracing you. They are not able to trust anything or anybody, and will accuse you and reject you whenever they think you have wronged them, and will hold it against you for the rest of their lives. This is the case whether they are Christians or not. The Dutch prophet also said that he knew exactly how to handle them, since he himself was one of them! I was impressed by his frankness, considering he was talking about his own people and culture!

This reminds me of a story in the New Testament of the Bible, where a prophet also points out the sinful behaviors embedded in the culture of his own people, just as many prophets in the Old Testament also did.

Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.” This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith.

Titus 1:12-13 NLT

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are supposed to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and be set free from any sinful cultural nature and inheritance.

For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

Colossians 1:13-14 NLT

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2. Corinthians 5:17 NLT

In the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, there is freedom from all worldly cultural demons of bondage, and instead, a person can enjoy walking in the Heavenly culture of bearing spiritual fruit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

I share the same desire as the apostle Paul, who said: I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. (Romans 1:13-14 NLT)