For many years, the image of a melting pot was used to describe the culture of America. It was assumed people arriving with diverse cultures and differences melt away as they lived together, creating a kind of cultural stew. At some levels, like clothing styles, this may happen, but at deeper levels, most people keep their distinctive cultures, creating what some call a tossed salad. The Bible teaches us to love and respect everyone. At the same time, God expects us to remain loyal to Him and to the moral values He has given for the welfare of all humanity. We see this reflected in the commands he gave ancient Israel. We find in Deuteronomy Chapter 4 how disobedience to God would result in people being scattered into lands where they would become minorities. In these different cultures, they could be tempted to “fit in,” to find acceptance by worshiping local deities and adopting local culture. Yet even in foreign lands, God tells them to resist idol worship and avoid wicked practices. God said even in these diverse cultures, if you return to me, I will listen and show you mercy. In our culture today, followers of Christ should respect everyone. Yet we must cling to God’s moral values, not do what everybody else is doing.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More