Cultural Influence on Our Dependency of God

 Alfonse Javed

Some may find my statements less than agreeable, but the fact of the matter is, if you haven’t lived in a different culture, especially those cultures where ancient religions are practiced even today, you would not understand how culture could influence a religion both positively and negatively.

Many of the things I used to do or believe as a part of my faith ten years ago, I would not do today, simply because I don’t live in Pakistan. Much of the spiritual, theological, philosophical and intellectual transformation that I have experienced must be rendered to the Western culture of enlightenment and theological advancement. This doesn’t mean that the transformation that I have experienced in the United States has been all-profitable for my spiritual growth, nevertheless all in all I did learn how to think critically and not simply follow the words of somebody else.

Also, I must confess that the new transformation took away a part of my dependency on God, simply because it is no longer affordable here in the west. There are too many rational and theological reasons and the availability of everyday needs in the West that are absolutely unthinkable in many eastern places makes it harder to rely on God completely. Perhaps this is the reason why the West continues to get away from the idea of God, whereas religions and a firm belief in some sort of God continues to be a consistent source of inspiration in the East. This is how it has been for millennia and how it will continue to be for years to come. Culture has and will continue to influence our view of religion and God. Unfortunately, sometimes the most advanced cultures tend to make a mockery of the simple faith or religions found in primitive cultures.

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Dr. A. R. Javed

Dr. A. R. Javed is on faculty of New York School of the Bible, offering and heading the department of Missions and Understanding Islam. He is a lecturer at Davis College's NYC site and regularly gives lectures on Islam, Missions, Christian Theology nationally and internationally.

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