Most American Christians have no idea what God means when writing through the Apostle Paul, “I have become all things to all men that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). We either allow paganism to flourish “hidden in plain sight” or we harmfully remove the essential (biblically harmonious) cultural identity of a people in the name of “holiness.” The reason for our pendulum-like mode of operating is we ourselves have no discernment between our own American culture and biblical culture. In grave error, we equate “conservative Americana” with “Christian” and vice versa. This fuels our bigoted demands on the other cultures to which we send missionaries to “minister,” requiring the people must become like us or else be condemned as either non-sanctified or unconverted.
The Apostle Paul outlines the very degrees to which we should go in order to become all things to all men. See 1 Cor. 9:19-23:
A. Free to servant (i.e. Position of attitude and maybe even societal status—freeman v. slave = choice to relinquish societal rank, freedoms, “rights”)
B. Observe ethnic culture (ex. Gentile/Jew)
C. As one under the law (i.e. observing biblically harmonious religious dictates of others’ religions, so as not to offend unnecessarily)
D. As one outside the law (i.e. not living according to one’s own NON-ESSENTIAL religious dictates, so as not to alienate those to whom one ministers unnecessarily)
E. Weak to weak (i.e. those of society who are considered by the rest of society as lacking or weak—matching their “weakness,” so as not to alienate them…. Make them feel acceptable. Also, this applies to those within the church, whose struggles are great: identify with, empathize with and embrace them in their struggle so far as is biblically possible (Galatians 6; Romans 14).