I have been preaching and teaching Biblical honor for two decades. I have written about it. I have taught it in FreedomMinistry International to hundreds of thousands of people. That’s a context for this post.
By combining three different stories, let me share how satan empties a Bible idea of its meaning. First, with distraction from its meaning. Then, with a substitution that negates the meaning.
A spiritual son returned from one of the conferenceitis moments. Someone shared the exaggerations of honor. After one session, he was an expert on honor. The son was rebellious. Limited submission plagued his maturing. He found an answer that justified his rebellion in this teaching.
Yes, he found justification for lack of submission in exaggerated honor. Exaggerated honor is no honor at all.
- Honor is value expressed in something God puts into a person. It is not the innate value of human beings crowned with glory and honor. That is not the honor of which we speak. Kingdom culture is not based upon equal honor. That is humanism.
- Honor recognizes what God puts in the person, not the person. Without what God puts in the person, we misplace honor. The innate value of a human being. The Cross defines that value. Love defines that value. Honor recognizes the value of purpose and unites agape love – passion for purpose – with God’s will.
- Honor to whom honor is due recognizes what God puts into a person. We never honor the dishonorable. An exaggeration of honor becomes, “I find something to honor in you even though you are a worthless reprobate.” This is false honor. Some people are worthless. The Bible says so. The meaning of “worthless” is “they rebel against their purpose.” Neither God nor any believer will honor what is dishonorable. False positivism is not love or honor. We cannot find something to honor in whoredom and sexual slavery, rebellious prodigals, and wolves!
The son says to me, “I have finally found authentic love and honor.”
I said, “So, let me get this straight. After an hour’s discussion of what you think you’ve learned about love and honor in one conference of exaggeration, you have experienced Father’s love for the first time.”
He answered, “Yes.”
I summarized, “And now you hate us? You must leave this ministry because you hate us?”Without hesitation, he answered, “Yes. I have experienced Father’s love and I hate you. Ain’t that weird?” Giggling ensued. He enjoyed the “freedom” he felt in the justification for his rebellion.
In this anecdotal illustration, I combine experiences with more than ten people. All have submission limitations. All are rebellious.
All end up finding a ministry that will celebration them as they are. False honor justifies rebellion against the process that matures. Instead of becoming the people they should be, they find false honor for who they decide to be. They embrace that celebration as acceptance, love, and honor. It is not Biblical acceptance, love, and honor at all.
In summary, mention discipline, correction, confrontation, and rebuke. You will either get a “Jesus never does that” from false honor people. And, you will get a list of caveats from everyone else: “Yes, we need correction but only in love.”
The mention of a caveat is another response to false honor. It assumes that love and correction are not the same thing. It assumes that correction can be unkind. It cannot. If it is not done in love, it is punishment, not correction.
So, for the most part, we have lost the meaning of Biblical love and honor. We must work to restore that as we restore kingdom culture.