Summary: How to Be Mindful of the Wholistic NEEDS OF HUMAN AND SOCIETAL VALUES
How to Be Mindful of the Wholistic NEEDS OF HUMAN AND SOCIETAL VALUES
Still we can look at values from a cultural point of view which emerge from seven central needs of humans and human society interacting together, these are:
1. Economic good which one realizes the economic value called utility.
Being concerned with usefulness, profitableness, and practical worth are essentially utilitarians’ concerns.
Societies like Japan that are guided by their utilitarian values have profited by the world’s hunger for their cars, electronic goods, and computers that enhance other people’s standards of living. However, corruption in the Japanese political systems seem to be endemic. This pragmatic concern can also belie the fact that values are based on faulty assumptions. Cross-cultural communicators are interested in finding out how these values will indicate inconsistencies that may need altering. It is for this reason that economic values are seen to be surface symptoms of underlying beliefs in deeper truths.
2. Ideological good which one contemplate a theoretical value called truth. What one considers to be true, is a reflection of one’s ideological priorities. The greater someone or something conforms to the facts of reality, the more genuine value can be placed on that truth. Since all truth is God’s truth, Christians are going to start, but not end with the Bible in their quest for truth. They will be open to exploring for elements of truth in the social and behavioral sciences as well as the hard science subjects. Through a combination of deductive and inductive investigation, Christian communicators will look for ways that truth can be expressed in ways that embody the culture’s greatest values.
3. Political good which one realize the power value called dominance or governance. Power is an ability to do or act in a way that suits one’s values. The way in which families, societies, and governments carry out their political values is a reflection of the highest values of influence, authority, and control. For example, the way African governments are run is an indirect and a direct result of the people and politicians power value systems. However, this power source must be explored if one is going to properly assess the nature of one’s values. For instance, if one gets power through spirits rather than from God, His word, and His Holy Spirit, the power will tend to corrupt, distort, and abuse truth. Cross-cultural communicators should probe to find out the areas of misuses of power to expose areas of needs for power shifts back to the scriptural foundations.
4. Solidarity is good - Meaning that some people cherish a social value called fidelity or loyalty. If, for example, one is steadfastly faithful to a father’s advice and expresses a deep allegiance to the value of fidelity to one’s family’s head, a person is considered loyal. On the other hand if one gives obedience to one’s personal beliefs in the scriptures, he will tend to have conflicts with family values. Jesus once encountered this problem with His mother and brothers. To this question He replied, "Whoever does the will of God are my brothers and sisters and mother." (Mark 3:35) In cultures where solidarity is a deep value, cross-cultural communicators need to look beneath the surface for the reasons for the solidarity value. Perhaps, the main reason why certain tribes remain united is not through mutual goals, but because of fear of isolation, vulnerability, or punishment. When a communicator is able to show how to relieve these fears, the solidarity barrier to the gospel can often be overcome. In other cases, the solidarity value can act as a catalyst for the communication of the gospel across cultures. These instances are often seen in the people movement concept popularize in Don McGavaran’s Understanding Church Growth.
5. Ethical good in which one realize the ethical value called morality. Lawrence Kolhberg has postulated that there are four levels of moral development in people and societies. Without a deep understanding of the shallowness of some peoples’ ethical values they may not feel the need to develop ethically or morally.
Paul said to the Corinthians who struggled with moral development in I Cor. 13:12,13, "When I was a child, I thought like a child, spoke like a child, reasoned like a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things..." This same approach can be an effective catalyst for change in people’s ethical value systems through the following levels of moral development progressive steps:
a. Obedience - Punishment Orientation - This person will only do what is right because he knows that disobedience will bring about shame, disgrace, or punishment. He does not follow any ethical standard. This person responds best to a strong authority figure.
b. Instrumental Orientation - This person will do what is right since he believes that it will bring benefits to himself or his family. Unless there is some reward, this man will not aspire to help anyone but himself. This individual responds best to people who tell him how to profit from an idea or how to avoid harmful behaviors.