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Globalization and the Christian Covenant

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There is a famous children's game called telephone, the object of the game is that one person starts a message and it is whispered to the next person and so on. By the end of the entire sequence, the message is generally mixed up and often makes almost no sense at all. However, this children's game appears to have the same idea and outcome as globalization. As ideas, customs and cultures are moved from one nation to the next; they are often construed and appear to be different. Chris Waterman, Dean of the School of Arts and Architecture at UCLA, has done case studies on this idea. Specifically, Waterman showed how globalization affected a classic Zulu song, Mbube. Similarly, religions often go through processes where ideas are changed from country to country based on the angle modern culture takes on the subject. In depth, Christianity has had a constant changing of its idea of the covenant with God since its first introduction through Adam. Similar to the game of telephone, Chris Waterman and the covenant in the Hebrew Bible are both examples of how ideas are changed to fit in with modern culture, even though the same basic structure is still there.

The "new covenant" in Christianity has changed quite a bit since the first covenant God had promised to his people. The covenant began, in a way, with Adam; however, when Adam betrayed God and was expelled from the Garden of Eden, the covenant was broken. Nonetheless, the covenant of the New Testament became based off of the covenant God started with Noah. This covenant set the basic structure that would become the skeleton for all covenants to come. The basic structure of this covenant is that God promises benefits to one particular group of people, providing they do a specific task. With Noah, God promised salvation from the flood, so long as Noah built an arc to specific standards and gathered two of every animal. Similarly, God's covenant with Abraham promised that Abraham would become the ancestor of a great nation, providing he went to the land God had promised him and circumcised all the males of the nation. In the same light, God's covenant with Moses promised that the Israelites would reach the Promised Land, provided that they all followed the Mosaic Law (Covenant, These three covenants, though different in nature, all followed the same base of God's covenant.

Nevertheless, the covenant with Noah only set the standard for what would be transformed and warped into the new covenant. Similar to Solomon Linda and his group of Zulu mine workers, whose song was transformed into Wimoweh and then The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Waterman). The new covenant was believed to be the fulfillment of the old covenant, or covenants, set forth by God. This new covenant promised salvation to the masses, provided they believed in Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says "Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill" (American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:17). This statement by Jesus shows the nature of this new covenant that God was introducing. The passage also illustrates in plain text that the basic structure of the covenant is still there, but this new covenant is just a new face for it. Similarly, the face of the covenant shows change in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 4. In this passage, there is a reassurance that the covenant has not changed structure, simply conformed to fit modern culture, "God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (American Standard Bible, Galatians 4:4-5). This passage is evidence that the covenant has indeed changed, but it is still the same basic law, or covenant, that God had sent forth with Abraham. The reference of "the adoption of sons" shows the tie to the ancestry of Abraham promised by God. These two passages from the New Testament illustrate how the covenant changed throughout time to conform to modern culture, while still maintaining the same general structure.

Chris Waterman illustrated a similar point during his lecture. Waterman showed the timeline of a famous song that had kept the same basic structure, but changed to fit in with modern culture. The song began as a Zulu folk recording by Solomon Linda and his group in 1936 called Mbube, Zulu for lion. In 1952, an American folk group called The Weavers heard Mbube and recorded an Americanized version of the song. This version took one small portion of the original song; a part that was likely improvised by Linda to begin with, and



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