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By worldview
Created 10 Nov 2006 - 19:22
I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
~ Lord Byron

Having been an Islander all my life (Australia is the world’s largest island!) I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to travel to many distant shores. I have been to Africa 7 times now and it feels like my second home. Africa has changed my life because it has dispelled much of the ignorance that was part of my thinking about other cultures and countries. To my surprise I have found in the African people such a wealth of faith and generosity of spirit to such an extent that I want to keep coming back! There is much that people from western nations can learn from our African brethren: resilient faith, joy in the midst of hardship, freedom in worship, genuine happiness and contentment in simplicity and a strong sense of family and community that is so rare in many western countries.

Mark Twain said, ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime’.

The above quotes by Byron and Twain summarise much of what Worldview Interactive magazine is about. It’s about getting a different perspective on things... questioning some of our basic assumptions, reviewing some of our own cultural perspectives, and getting a triangulation on the truth. What surprised me most when I began to travel and spend time in other cultures was that I began to see things in the Bible that I had never seen before. Western missionaries often talk about making allowances for other cultures... but I began to see that there was much in my own western culture that God was not pleased with. I now see that following Jesus is a constant journey of discovery... discovering how to see things God’s way rather than through the narrow perspective of our own inherited cultural assumptions.

Cultural myopia is a kind of blindness that afflicts us all. Unless we prayerfully question our assumptions and read the word of God objectively, we will forever be destined to assume that God always approves of our customs and traditions, of our cultural habits and even our political preferences. But God sits enthroned high above all of these earthly realms and has another perspective altogether. The risen Jesus lives and moves among us by the Holy Spirit to show us a better way to live and to lead us into all truth.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Worldview Interactive. Please support our sponsors, and if you live somewhere other than Africa, please come for a visit soon!

Allan D Weatherall

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