Friday, May 24, 2013

Culture Clash

   Marla immigrated to mid-west America and immediately joined a branch of the congregation she had been attending in the Philippines.  The congregation was predominantly comprised of Americans and some Filipinas.  Her new found Filipino friends told the Elders that she had a bad record in the Philippines, something they had no proof of since they met her in the US.  The leaders believed the gossip because it came from her compatriots who were supposedly her friends.  Marla suffered in silence.  She did not refute the gossip.  She believed in a just God who will make the adjustment. (Deuteronomy 32:35-36)

   Marla opted to move to another branch of the same congregation, this time it was all American. She tried to befriend as many as she can.  However, she gave comments from her heart and not always what the audience wanted to hear.  For that she was called a diva.  

   In one of the discussions she took a stand against serious domestic physical abuse.  In the Philippines crimes against women are categorized as “heinous” and carry a death sentence.  She called serious physical abuse a deal breaker.  Serious physical abuse means a broken arm or leg, a push down a stairs, etc.   The Bible explicitly says “…husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies…” (Ephesians 5:28).  Has any man ever broken his own arm?  To her surprise the conductor took an opposing view.  Her further participation in the meetings were rejected from there on.  

   Marla moved to a third congregation after a polite notice of transfer.  This time she no longer has the illusion that she will be liked by a congregation of another nationality.  Her Bible study in the Philippines often proudly mentioned that every member would find love in any branch of any country.  She realized those people who conducted the Bible study in the Philippines have never been abroad.

   Liked or not by her congregation, Marla remains loyal to her God (Psalm 83:18).  

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