Summer Book Review #2: Culture of Honor by Danny Silk

culture-of-honorMy son, Daniel, introduced me to this book.  He just returned from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministries in Redding, California.  The senior management pastor at Bethel Church is Danny Silk. While Daniel was there, we would frequently tell me about this culture of honor that exists there.  Many churches wanted to replicate this way of life and the book A Culture of Honor provides an excellent picture of this.  The title of the book really threw me. I had read other books about honor before and I was guessing it would be similar; it wasn’t at all.  I wasn’t at all expecting him to say the kind of things that he did.

He told many stories of Christian’s who had sinned and the churches response to these sins.  I don’t know one evangelical Christian who wouldn’t say that God completely forgives sins – even the destructive sin of sexual immorality in a church leader.  Almost every one of these Christians would say that God can/does use these fallen leaders again.  But there is quite a lot of division about what that restoration process should look like. There seems to be a standard operating procedure that most churches follow. Either the leader is shunned, leaves the church and his denomination, time passes and he either starts a new church or joins an established church far from the church where the sin took place.  And whether they admit it or not, most Christians stand in judgment of these fallen leaders – harsh judgment.  Or sometimes, the leader is dragged before the church, his sin is exposed and everyone watches “the sinner in the hands of an angry God” suffer public humiliation – and the person may never serve in a church setting again.

Danny Silk demonstrates a different way to deal with sin.  His primary focus is to help those who have fallen understand, in a very honoring way, why they made the choices that they did. Godly repentance is, of course, an essential element and it is followed by accountability.  The stories he tells look nothing like the way these things are normally handled.

The reason for this is that he is not at all concerned with the relationship a person has with the rules (law).  He is only concerned with the relationship that person has with God.  In John 14:15 Jesus is not saying, “If you love me, you will let Me control you” when he says “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments”.  He is NOT saying “Keep your relationship with My rules!”  He is saying “If you love Me, you’ll adjust your behavior to protect My heart.  It is clear that the way you manage yourself in our relationship is going to be a clear indicator to Me of your love.”

Both the books of Romans and Galatians make it clear that you can’t both be under the law and under grace. If we are seeking to ensure that those around us have a right relationship with the rules, we are enslaving them to the law of sin. This is certainly not the why Jesus died on the cross.

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