Culture, I dare say, is realized on multiple levels. There is a macro-level culture that shapes the perception of belonging and rightness. For example, history shares that there are stages of history like Dark Ages, Enlightenment, Modern, and Post-modern, that shape our thinking as well as our ‘truth’. There are macro-level influences like being American, male or female, young/old. These macro-level cultural realities are infused at the earliest moments of life…we are literally born learning these, based on the larger culture. These largely go unchecked, as it creates the normative reality for the people within that sphere. Until globalization, we were able to be ‘safe’ in our cultural bubble for we seldom interfaced with other macro-cultures.
There is also a micro-level culture. These are closer to home like the community you live within, the family of origin, the school you attend(ed), etc. These are smaller groups that shape us by affirming our behavior and comments, or by rejecting them. The cultural realities within this domain are frequently tested as we tend to bump into other micro-cultures on a much more continuous basis.
Where does Christianity fit in this bubble? As a faith in the whole, the Universal Church, it would seem that it is a macro-level belief system but the reality of this…the living out of it…is realized in the micro. If you have ever ‘church shopped,’ you quickly learn that each community has its unique cultural realities. We tend to join where we ‘feel at home,’ which is another way of saying that the culture fits my perception, or feeling, of culture.
Which leads me to a big question—What is the culture of Central Union Church?