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Starrleena Magyck

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Culture and Language
By Starrleena Magyck   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, February 22, 2010
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010

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An essay on culture and language and its effects on religion.


                          VALERIE L. HARVEY


                          AUGUST 3, 2009

                          PROF. TEDDY MOYA

    "Christianity has been forced to adapt to this brave

 new world.  No longer able to assume the truth of its

traditional world-view, where God created and redeemed

the whole world, it has retreated to the 'spiritual', the

realm of personal feeling and the sense of something

beyond--as defining the way the world is, but rather as a

component of human pshychology, necessary as a way of

coming to terms with the impersonal contingencies of

natural and human affairs" (Burbidge).  We have had many

religions in this world, from Catholics to Lutherans, and

everyone in between.
    Why are there so many religions?  Because "culture

is related to religion and particularly to religious

 discourse, docmented by ancient through modern

 historical cases of the frightening power of spiritual

messages" (Hammerback).  As John Burbidge states, "Faith

involves entrusting oneself to a reality that is

ultimate."  Faith in Christianity means putting one's

whole heart and soul on God.  It is so easy to lose faith

in Christianity.

    Christianity also teaches us to love another.  "The

practice of giving resonates with fundamental themes of

Christian doctrine.  Creation is a free, uncoerced gift

of existence, and the incarnation is described as an act

of grace, unconstrained goodwill.  Christians are urged

to practice agape:  love not as sexual desire, not as a

 devotion to something transcedent, not as friendship,

but as charity" (Burbidge).  "Anthropologists and others

have examined how gifts function as a medium of exchange

in various cultures.  While no return is expected

immediately, the giving of gifts produces a sense of

obligation, which in due course requires a gift return.

  Yet, the Christian tradition has canonized Nicholas as

 the embodiment of charity, a simple good man whose gifts

were always anonymous precisely because anonymity removes

the opportunity for any reciprocity" (Burbidge).

    As we learn to live for God, "we mature with others,

and through a sense of belonging and searching together"

(Burbidge).  This is why we go to church.  To be with

other Christians in fellowship and to join in praise and

worship with God.  "Culture is related to religion and

particularly to religious discourse, documented by

ancient through modern historical cases of the

frightening power of spiritual messages" (Hammerback).

    "John Marshall notes that while religious toleration

was practiced, it was legally proscribed.  Where private

religious practice was permitted, public expression of

one's religious commitments was not" (Charles).  J. Daryl

Charles goes on to say that, "Much of their understanding

of liberty, happiness, religious toleration and freedom

of expression was the product of their reflections on the

European experience."  He goes onto say that "ultimately,

forced belief, in addition to undermining the credibility

of belief, develops an indifference to religious truth,

the fruit of which is wickedness."

    John Locke describes it in the following manner:  

All the life and power of true religion consists in the

inward and full persuasion of the mind. . .whatever

possession we make, to whatever outward worship we

conform, if we are not fully satisfied in our own mind

that the one is true , and the other well pleasing unto

God, such obstacles to our salvation. . .[and] we add

unto the number of our other sins, those also of

hypocrisy, and the contempt of His Divine Majesty

(Charles).  But, Marshall traces patristic and late-

medieval arguments that Jews, Muslims, and pagans should

be tolerated, whereas "heretics" and "schismatics" should

be punished (Charles).  Charles rationalizes, according

to Marshall, this as " the assumption that the former are

those who have known the truth of Christianity and

therefor need persuasion in order to embrace it.  He goes

on to say that the latter, however, are distinguished by

the fact that they have deliberately turned away from the


    Another fact is that we as followers of Jesus are

forgiven if we repent of our sins and ask forgiveness of

our sins.  "A well-worn bit of conventional wisdom among

religious folk is that we should 'hate the sin while

loving the sinner' " (Charles).  As God has forgiven us

and taken us into His kingdom, we, too, ought to forgive

our fellow brother.  "To speak the truth in love is to

embody a moral honesty that refuses to compromise, in the

name of 'tolerance' or 'diversity', the consequences of

ultimate reality, while it simultaneously is cognizant of

the fact that fellow human beings are to be treated as

bearers of the image of God" (Charles).

    "Intolerance--of theft, burglary, cruelty, classroom

hooliganism, disrespect for parental authority, and

violent crime of all sorts; of substance abuse,

infidelity, illegitimacy, perversion, pornography, rape,

and child molestation; of fraud, envy, covetousness, and

knavery; of sloth, mediocrity, incompetence,

 maleducation, improvidence, irresponsibility and

 feckleness--a society tolerant of those things would

soon find itself in serious trouble, even facing

dissolution, and many people in that society would be in

peril of their lives" (Charles).  But the point is, we

don't have to fear for our lives.  All we have to do is

get our hearts right with Jesus, accept His free gift of

salvation, and confess and repent of our sins.  If we do

all of this, we should be able to live eternally in

heaven with God, our heavenly father.


John Burbidge.  (2001).  Christianity After Christendom.  
    Journal of Canadian Studies, 36(2), 207-214.

J. Daryl Charles.  (2007).  Truth, Tolerance, and
    Christian Conviction:  Reflections and Perennial
    Question -- A Review Essay.  Christian Scholar's
    Review, 36(2), 185-218.

John C. Hammerback.  (2005).  Holy Terrors:  Thinking
    About Religion After September 11.  Rhetoric &
    Public Affairs, 8(3), 504-507.


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