exegesis and a coming outBy almost
Participating in the public reading of Scripture was her “Christian coming out” party. Using the same language as one would to announce a homosexual lifestyle, a Czech woman was declaring her identity with Christ in a story related by Sasha Flek. This was viewed as a huge announcement that this lady was uttering.
In a culture shaped by the Thirty Year War and the resulting dominance of the Catholic church in what is modern day Czech Republic, the confessions were often not heart-felt. Claiming to be Catholic was necessary to avoid hardship at that time according to Flek.
A few centuries later the people usually decided that claiming to be Communists to an invading power allowed these “supporters” to be able to have better benefits in the area of compensation and benefits. Of course to criticize the party or Communism could merit some away time in an austere environment. With these long-standing oppressions, why would someone choose to go against the grain? Why would someone “confess” to something or someone that would bring difficulty and harm on themselves and their family?
The second annual Easter reading of the Bible that Flek had recently finished translating, provided this lady a good opportunity to declare that she was standing with Christ.
In the U.S., we are all aware that the history is radically different. A church culture in the South meant that large numbers of people went to church and were expected to make known their standing with Christ at some time in their first years in the church. The two histories could not be more different at this point. The two cultural outcomes could not be more polarized.
Exegeting the culture in key areas including the history and resulting values are key to formulating an answer to key question #2: what does the gospel look like in this culture? This is one of many topics we will be exploring during our Friday conversations on Upstream’s JetSet.