What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. 1 Corinthians 9:18-19
Cultural restraints do not bind Christians. We are free to eat what we want, drink what we want, wear what we want, and socialize with whom we want. When Jesus freed us from the dietary and cultic practices of the Mosaic Law, he freed us from every other tradition of every other culture at the same time, including our own. Along with this freedom comes another, equally encompassing freedom, the freedom to submit for the sake of the Gospel. Because cultural distinctives don’t make any difference in our relationship with Christ, we can assume many different cultural postures, so long as they do not involve living contrary to the teaching of God. In fact Paul indicates that since we have the first freedom, we should use the second. We have been made free from culture, in order that we accommodate to many cultures—including the work cultures and school cultures, in order that we penetrate these cultures with the liberating truth of Jesus Christ. The joy of this freedom makes it most rewarding.
With this promise, O Lord, I need understanding so I can discern what is culturally significant and what is culturally dangerous, and wisdom so I can choose well for Jesus’ sake. Amen.