Ethnocentrism is the problem of thinking that your own sub-culture is right and that other sub-cultures are wrong. It’s a problem that leads to prejudice, bigotry, imperialism, even genocide. And it’s not completely avoidable. As much as you tell yourself that someone else acts differently because he was raised differently, you can’t always prevent feelings of impatience and judgementalism. And it’s even worse when you (and/or the other person) think you’re dealing with issues of absolute truth, not relative opinions, and won’t give in.
Ethnocentrism also blinds people to spiritual truth. We decide that people in developing countries are still “developing,” so they still have a simpler, more naive faith. Except for one problem: faith is evidence and substance, reality and proof (Hebrews 11:1). People who have experienced God know what they’re talking about. They are not simple or naive. It’s naive to think otherwise.
Not only do we think our own culture is the center of the universe, we think our own time period is the center of history. I call that “tempocentrism”. Every generation thinks it’s the smartest generation. We always tend to confuse knowledge (what you know) with wisdom (what to do with it). Except for one problem: while knowledge is more common now than it was then, wisdom seems to be less common now than it was then.