Nonverbal Training Guide
Grand Canyon University- COM- 236
June 24, 2018
Training Guide – Christianity Culture
It is the nature of humans to consciously and unconsciously strive to make sense of their surrounding world. There are different types of shared beliefs, values, and assumptions for different groups of people. Culture is as a result of a group of people learning from one another and teaching other people that their behaviors, perspectives, and attitudes are the correct ways to act, think, and feel. When one plans to travel and experience a different culture, it is important to understand the culture’s norms for better coexistence and experience.
Christianity culture is based on the life, miracles, and teachings of Jesus, also known as Christ of Nazareth. The main Christianity groups are; Catholics, Protestants, and the Orthodox. Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with a population known as Christians who believe in Jesus as the son of God and one to save humanity. Christianity as a culture is dynamic with different dos and don’ts to guide Christians. They are guided by the 10 Commandments.
Figure 1: The 10 Commandments
There are certain gestures and body movements that serve as a form of non-verbal communication among Christians in the Christianity culture. Christians believe in God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit and forbid worshipping other gods. In most branches of Christianity, the sign of the cross is a gesture done by Christians as a ritual blessing (Hunt, 2017). Christians are forbidden from making idols that resemble God. Most Christian worship gatherings are marked by gestures or words of greeting, either in the name of God or Jesus, for example, “the Lord be with you.” However, it is forbidden to misuse the name of the Lord such as bear false witness using the name of the Lord. Different forms of prayer have several appropriate gestures, for example, kneeling or standing with hands open and palms uplifted. The cross is the main symbol for Christianity culture and used to signify the death of Christ on the cross.
Figure 2: Religious Symbols
People from different cultures are known to either keep intimate, personal, social, or public distances in proxemics. Christians have biding, social, and admonishing relationship. It is seen as wrong for Christians to enter into a binding relationship with a non-believer and they are warned against being “yoked together with unbelievers” (Stott, 2017). Christians can stop having social relationships with those required to seek reconciliation with both God and His church. Christians are not required to break all contact with erring believers. Christians can admonish for the fellow believers to see them seek back fellowship with God.
Christians have several forms of haptic communication in the different branches of Christianity. Most Christians offer each other a sign of peace by greeting each other and expressing the joy of Christ through a smile. Hugging needs to be done in a responsible way especially between opposite gender. Christians have different non-verbal communication elements for modifying meaning and conveying emotion. It is the common practice for Christians to express gratitude when one shows some of the kindness (Paget, 2017). Christians are also required to show some form of compassion for those in need to the best of one’s ability. Christians use an exciting tone to express gratitude and a soft tone while asking for forgiveness.
In the Christianity culture, time plays an important role in communication. Christians believe God’s timing is the best time, especially in things out of their control. There is no theory on time-based on Christianity, and its relation with time is common with late and modern sciences (Paget, 2017). Christians prioritize what to communicate based on their priorities. It is common for Christians to inquire about one’s wellbeing before dwelling on their personal needs. Time is a derivative of the nature of God being eternal in the Christian culture.
In the Christian culture, Christians believe that God created them in His own image. Christians believe that God designed each one’s appearance and each looks like God pleases. One’s appearance represents God’s care about appearance and the need to appreciate God’s workmanship. Christians are expected to appreciate God’s beauty by taking care of their bodies. Tattoos and other body markings are seen as not beneficial nor constructive in Christianity. Men and women are expected to dress modestly not to draw attention to themselves. The physical appearance, through dressing, is seen as an expression of who one really is (Johnson, 2014). Hygiene is highly emphasized in the Christianity culture by Christians.
For most people all over the world, prayer is part of their everyday life. In Christianity culture, prayer is an integral part and there are forms of behavior required during prayer. Prayers are seen as an opportunity for Christians to personally communicate with God. Christian oculesics requires Christians to close their eyes with God to encourage a focused conversation with God (Stott, 2017). During prayer, Christians are expected to turn their thoughts inward by shutting their eyes. Christians use the sense of smell to identify with consistency, authenticity, and preparedness. In the Christian culture, Christians are required to be consistent with their belief to draw people to Him because of the sweet aroma of His grace. Hypocrisy in Christianity culture is likened to a pungent smell. Those ready by having a string Christianity belief are likened to an aroma of life leading to life. Christians are expected to model the life of Christ and His sacrifice.
It is important to understand a culture before experiencing it because it influences people’s views, values, worries, loyalties, fears, and hopes. Understanding Christianity as a culture can help one work and build relationships with Christians while understanding their culture better. Christians are expected to love one another and spread the love of God like a wildfire to the other people. Christianity embraces the six universal expressions: happiness, anger, fear, surprise, sadness, and disgust.
References Hunt, S. (2017). Christianity. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. Johnson, R. A. (2014). The Role of Religious Values. Young Christians’ Opinions towards Tattoos, 138-14. Paget, J. C. (2017). Christianity in the Second Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stott, J. (2017). New issues facing Christians.