East and West

Dec 19, 2014
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The topic I'd like to discuss is whats different between East and West.

Many people have this misconception that Christianity is a Western religion or philosphy. But it actually originated in the Middle East.

But what makes the 'Western' world west and the 'Eastern' world east? Can they be reconciled? Or will never the twain meet?

If Jerusalem is the apple of Gods eye, wouldnt it be right in the centre of His will?

I live in a nominally 'western' country, I even reside on the .west side of my city, but what makes Westies different from Easterners?

I will list a few things Ive observed in the next few posts. Please add your thoughts and what the Bible says about it. The gospel is to be spread to the ends of the earth, which include both east, west, and north and south!
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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Ok westies...
When we go home, the sun is in our eyes setting, and if we go east to work, the sun is in our eyes at dawn. Thats why westies tend to always wear sunglasses.

Apart from this.
Growing up chinese/asian heritage. Here are some pronounced cultural differences I've noticed between Asians and Europeans.

Westerners eat with knives and forks on a plate. But Easterners, eat with chopsticks and bowls -having knives at the table would be barbaric.

Westerners tend not to take their shoes off when going inside a home. Easterners always remove their shoes as a sign of respect, and also, they dont want to get the floor dirty.

Westerners think its a good thing to look people right in the eye and shake hands firmly. Easterners do not make direct eye contact, to save face. Shaking hands is a bit foreign too.


Westerners tend to be very logical and like things in straight lines, squares and boxes. Easterners appreciate harmony and balance and flow. What appears chaotic, or random or irregular is a natural order of things.

Westerners tend to prize individuality. Easterners value the collective.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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I thought about this today...

Rememeber the big hullabaloo over crop circles, and how people thought they were made by aliens? But why would they be made by aliens? Anyone could make these crop circles if they pushed over wheat in a circular pattern.

Thing is, only western countries grow wheat in a huge monoculture in straight lines to be harvested by machines. These westerners just counldn't conceive of circles spoiling the look of their dead straight fields.

I laugh when I think of this. I'm always amazed at how Westerners have such boxed in thinking. Anything irregular is somehow suspect. How they would ever grow rice on a terrraced field would have them racking their brains. They would figure out a way to bulldoze the land first, then have them grow in steps.
 

bobinfaith

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Westerners think its a good thing to look people right in the eye and shake hands firmly. Easterners do not make direct eye contact, to save face. Shaking hands is a bit foreign too. Westerners tend to be very logical and like things in straight lines, squares and boxes. Easterners appreciate harmony and balance and flow. What appears chaotic, or random or irregular is a natural order of things. Westerners tend to prize individuality. Easterners value the collective.
Hi Lanolin;

I enjoyed reading and pondering on your thread East and West thread. The three that stood out with me are the ones I "blue highlighted."

Your comparisons are cross-culture customs, thought and traditions. As a westerner I have always used a firm handshake and look people in the eye as my witness and social contact with people. But people in our community of 7 million are very diverse and can read others, so I always approach people with a gentle spirit and love of and for Jesus. I feel others can sense this and have had good experiences with my greeting of others.

In
Galatians 3:28 teaches us that full acceptance of Jew or Gentile also means acceptance of their culture. Its when we target and judge others then, speaking for myself, I can be "boxed in" with my thinking.

Years ago while visiting an eastern country I did notice people barely held my hand and shook very lightly while having their eyes looking downward but with a little smile. I judged these people because I didn't understand. What made it worse was I was a guest in this country. Later my grandfather corrected me.


It takes time to learn western and eastern ways but through prayer and asking the Lord to give us open hearts, besides open minds, will help us be more accepting of others.

You mentioned easterners appreciate harmony, balance and flow. This is true and a pastor friend of mine whose culture goes back in history to the ancient near east helped me to attain more harmony, balance and flow which has been a huge benefit in my life. I'm still working on it today.

There are verses in the Old Testament that reference praying to the east. Ezekiel comes to mind where the prophet saw the Lord's glory coming from the east. In the New Testament, Matthew 2 teaches about the wise men witnessing signs of the birth of Christ in the east.

Thank you for your thread,
Lanolin.

God bless you and your family.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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A few books have been donated to the church library from Gospel for Asia and its very interesting to read them how in India it is way more effective to have Indian missionaries witnessing to others rather than have people come from western countries because the huge differences westerners need to overcome to adjust to life in India. Its not the Far east but its different all the same. What they ask is if westerners do want to supoort missions that they sponsor native missionaries rather than send people at great expense and then they have to build separate mission schools and have a whole lot of personnel etc. Many western missionaries cna only operate in a bubble, which is sad, becuase they are not interacting with the peope they aremeant to interact with. And this is the host country!

But note its the same in reverse, missionaries especially from Korea do come to western countries to witness and they have to adjust to differences, learn the language, customs etc.

In the east people read from right to left. Or up to down. In western alphabets, you read from left to right, so even the book are backwards! Anyone whos left handed knows most things are made for a right handed world.
 
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I thought about the crossroads between east and west, which was Constatinople, now Istanbul in Turkey. Thats where Europe ends and Asia begins

Or maybe Jesus is meant to be the cross between east and west, literally. Many things about him are middle eastern yet as the gospel spread, it went westward. Now its just about come full circle and reaching the uttermost parts of the earth, but I would say places like Japan, Papua New Guinea, Tibet and Indonesia still need to hear the gospel. What other places are yet unreached?
 
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Early in my life as a Christian in college I read a book by the Chinese theologian Watchman Knee. He had a different slant on many things. I remember that he held that the soul was the result of combining the spirit with the body based on Gen 2:7. He stated that beasts have body and spirit but no soul since their spirit was not breathed in directly from God.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Same but funny thing is I couldnt really understand all what watchman Nee was writing about. i think was too abstract for me. But the animals having no soul is a common belief and not particularly eastern.

Animism is quite common in the east and also this idea that God is in everything i.e Hindus believe that, and that all things have a spirit, even plants and rocks.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Just coming back to this and wonder if this was particular to western eastern divide. Easterners, especially asians, share their meals at a table. Usually eaten buffet style, we all have bowls and take what we want from the main dishes. But westerners, europeans really dont like doing this. They have everyone with their own plate and own portions of food. And they dont like to share.

This makes for agonsing decisions at restuarants. Everyone has to decide what they want to eat before theyve seen the food. And pay for it individually. If you order a more expensive dish and the other person orders the cheapest thing on the menu cos thats the only dish they can afford, do you share those with the person less well off? What if youve been given a generous portion and not hungry, and they are famished cos they only eating the entree?
 
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Greetings;

First it was Abrahamic,then it became Christian apostolic centered in Jerusalem.Then it became European.Lately it became locally flavored all around the world.Now it becomes Abrahamic again,no road maps,lots of bibles,but still no coherent destination.

bye
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Greetings;

First it was Abrahamic,then it became Christian apostolic centered in Jerusalem.Then it became European.Lately it became locally flavored all around the world.Now it becomes Abrahamic again,no road maps,lots of bibles,but still no coherent destination.

bye
What do you mean no coherant destination? Its The new Jerusalem we are looking for coming down from Heaven. Its not found anywhere east or west it descends from above.
 
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Greetings:

Which church you go to very important(Joel 3).None are listed in the bible.
One will be taken,one will be left.
bye
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Um Ok, bye.
Still Not sure what you mean though. The people who were standing in the field, they were right next to each other, so, it doesnt actually matter geographically. Its not like God would take only people living in the western areas and destroy the east or vice versa.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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I came a across this rule as a group of us had ordered a buffet meal at an RSA, and RSAs serve western style food right? But thing is buffet is meant to be all you can eat. You just take what you want and go back for seconds if you need more. But they had made this silly rule that you were only allowed ONE plate and not allowed to go back for another one if you still hungry. I dont know about you buy piling all my food one one plate to eat at once just seems weird to me.

Some restuarants also make a rule that they charge you for a doggie bag. I find that western restaurants give you far too much portion wise and make it hard to share food. Its not like you leave it half eaten but they seem so obssesive about everyone having their own plate all the time. I dont think anyone else should dictate the amounts another person can eat or handle.