For whatever reason, we’ve come to expect that church is a place where there isn’t going to be any sin. It is just not true. If we don’t know how to deal with sin, then we don’t know how to deal with people. We inevitably create a culture of law in order to keep people from sinning. The message of this culture is: ‘Contain your sin within yourself. Don’t show it to me; I can’t handle it.’…
(The Pharisees) were famous for being afraid of sin, largely due to the fact that the only remedy for sin in their day was various degrees of punishment. The fear of punishment ruled their hearts, relationships and culture. Jesus, on the other hand… was not in the least afraid of messes people made in their lives, and letting them happen around Him… Ultimately His love and the way He led people empowered them to rise above their mistakes and issues.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 168.
When we are afraid of other people’s sin, it makes us crazy in the presence of sin…. Then we project onto God the idea that He’s just as afraid of sin as we are. But what exactly is God afraid of, anyway? Nothing…. He is the love. If you aren’t feeling the love when He’s there, something’s wrong, because that’s Him – love! When you’re feeling fear, that’s not Him.
So we have to decide – what partnerships are we going to make when we’re in the presence of sin? This was the thing that made Jesus look like a genius. Jesus could come in and out of sinners’ lives. He’d walk into a bar with the harlots and the thieves and go, ‘Hey guys, how you doin’? Hey, there was this rabbi, this priest, and this Baptist preacher.’ And those people loved Him! They were going, ‘I don’t know who that guy is, but I love Him, love Him, love Him!’
But the Pharisees were more like, ‘Here, leper. Ring this bell whenever you come around, because you scare me. Uh-oh, a woman on her period. Uh-oh, dead people. Where can we hide? Where can we go? Let’s go in the temple. Don’t sweat on me, don’t you sweat on me!’ Jesus had the love thing down, but the Pharisees didn’t have a clue. So in the presence, the Pharisees were afraid, but when Jesus was in the presence of sin, He was the solution, the remedy. He was powerful.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 79-80
Scripture is clear that we have two options – we can choose either to protect the rules and create a religious culture, or to protect our relationships and create a culture of love. And only one of these options is the covenant that Christ died to make with us.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 90
When people sin, it is offensive. When people break the rules, it is offensive to human nature… It is natural to be offended when someone breaks the rules. We put people in prison and call them offenders. Our society is filled with sinners practicing sin, and naturally, our society is caught in a relationship with the rules.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 92
The ability to achieve is the driving force of the middle class, which explains why this group is often referred to as the ‘working class.’… Motivated by achievement, believers in the middle class have a ‘works’ gospel that puts them to work for God. He has provided them with a ‘good education’ in church and now expects them to be successful workers in His Kingdom. The plans and goals of the middle class church are filled with work and achievements. The more we ‘achieve for God,’ the more successful we are in ministry…
Without trying, we end up with a gospel of conditional love. This creeps into the environment because we are so busy celebrating the achievers that we don’t see how to treat those who are not ‘ringing the bell.’ Eventually everyone understands that God loves us all, but He really loves those who achieve.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 141-2
We must set clear boundaries, as Scripture teaches, for dealing with people who do not repent. But we must also learn to stop needing to punish people who do repent.
I’m not saying that we give them a ‘get out of jail free’ card. But instead of punishing them, we call people to walk in their higher identity and responsibility as children of the light rather than crushing them even further into the life of a sinner.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 113
What is true restoration? An old meaning of the word ‘restoration’ is to find someone with a royal bloodline who has been removed from the throne and then restore the person to that throne – to a position of honor.
Culture of Honor, Destiny Image, 2009, 99