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.