Wednesday, June 14, 2017

There Are No Levels In the Kingdom of God

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Rainy day through a window

To understand what God is doing in Christ it is important to understand honor/shame hierarchies. Every culture has them. For example, when I was growing up I learned that we were "middle class." This meant there were people above us (better than us; better off than us), and people below us (worse than us; worse off than us). 

The honor/shame hierarchy is the realm of all competition, comparison, jealousy, slander, flattery, pride, and shame. The soul of the kingdom of darkness is measurement on the honor/shame hierarchy. 


In the kingdom of God honor/shame hierarchies do not exist. We see this in the song Mary sings, recorded in Luke chapter one. God, in his greatness and mercy, 



has brought down rulers from their thrones


    but has lifted up the humble.
53 
He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.


The tearing down of the honor'shame hierarchy is magnificent and breathtaking! Now, in Christ, life is different. Eugene Peterson writes, "There are no higher levels in the life of Christ - only following him." (In Peterson and Dawn, The Unnecessary Pastor, 1%)


Just following Jesus, without competing. Cheering and championing one another along, with everyone wearing the victory crown. 


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To study honor/shame cultures go to honorshame.com

In my book I share how a praying life lifts us off the prevailing honor/shame hierarchy - Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.