Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Davis Missionary Journey: Ethical Twister

Do you like the game "Twister"? If so, you should try the cultural ethics game of Twister. For example: in America, we have an ethic that says "Only ask for help if you can't help yourself.". In a Hunter / Gatherer culture like the Kaonde, this principle has a new twist. A man came to my house the other day after seeing our demonstration vegetable garden and asked for "free food". I told him that I don't have any "free food". To which he responded, "Then let me buy some food." My first response was, "If you could buy your food, why did you ask for free food?" (You can hear my cultural outrage as my ethical values were violated.) But the man looked at me after I asked that question as if I were an idiot. From a Hunter / Gatherer ethic, gathering something with the least expense of your resources is frugality and is responsible.

The rub comes when the Hunter / Gatherer system is being replaced by a cash economy. The same cultural ethic is used, but the economic ramifications have changed. One of the missionary's jobs is to help the culture interpret Christ's ethics and encourage them to apply them to their present cultural setting.

"Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?"
Luke 12:57 KJV

Trying not to get too twisted up…
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson


Pictured: free food?

No comments: