Following the previous post... cultural artifacts are the 'things' a group uses to become a group, function as a group, and survive as a group. In the Christian context, cultural artifacts are intended to be tools, not treasures. Unfortunately, even our most incidental and peripheral tools can become treasured tools and ultimately objects of worship. Understanding more about how cultural artifacts develop and the morph into objects of our worship is vital to correcting dangerous attitudes and behaviors.
Whenever a social group creates vocabulary, develops a protocol, introduces a practice, or acquires an object, the group invariably creates, modifies, or fortifies its existing beliefs, behaviors, and experiences. These consequences may overtly related to the cultural artifact. Often relationships between cultural artifacts and social construct are not so obvious.
Regardless, a social group's cultural artifacts can tell others immediately or at some later time about the group’s creator and the group’s members as it communicates a social construct.
As we will see, not only are cultural artifacts products of social constructions; cultural artifacts contribute to the initiation, perpetuation, and enculturation of social constructs.
Thoughtful, faithful Christians must learn to distinguish between cultural artifacts that lead us and others to higher ground from artifacts that chain us to tableland. We need to know the difference between social constructs that are life-giving from those that are Spirit-smothering; and we need to discern between implicit understandings that are God-glorifying and understandings that conceal covert idols.
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