Ever heard the terms High Culture and Low Culture? Whether you have or not, what do you envision when you think about it?
High Culture is usually associated with those that are refined, educated, and/or wealthy. The elite.
Low Culture is associated with the common people, those less educated and poor. The masses.
We recognize high and low culture, don’t we? Where the the following fit: rap music, classical music, bars, symphonies, homeless, Cadillac, pickup trucks, SUVs, cats, dogs, etc. How many of those are instantly associated with high culture? Low culture? Some things may not be clear cut, and some would argue that the lines are blurring, but we tend to know what a status symbol is.
How often is art associated with one of these paradigms? Where does your favorite art fall?
What of churches? What churches are high culture? Which are low culture? Rome is still high culture; St. Francis the epitome of low culture.
Let’s talk about jazz. Is jazz high or low culture? Some would say high culture, and that position could be defended. Jazz began as the music of the street, a prime African-American form of expression. It was low, very low culture. Classical music was high culture, had been for centuries. Which form of music was approved by the white community of the time? Which wasn’t? For that matter, where do the respective church services of an average white and average black congregation fall?
Whether the point needs to be stated or not, I’ll be clear. We judge all the time based on common cultural assumptions, and some of those assumptions change over time. Make sure your Christian world view isn’t too closely aligned with how a certain subculture views the world.