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Evangelism in an Honor and Shame Culture, Part 1

Let My People Think / Ravi Zacharias
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2020 1:00 am

Evangelism in an Honor and Shame Culture, Part 1

Let My People Think / Ravi Zacharias

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This broadcaster has 38 podcast archives available on-demand.

May 23, 2020 1:00 am

Many times people are hesitant to become Christians not because they don't believe, but because of the consequences they might face in their own family. So how can we share the Gospel in these situations? This week on Let My People Think, RZIM Speaker, Abdu Murray shares his thoughts on this tough situation many of us have faced.

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Examining national ministry of finance comes from your generous donation. I know more about running the horizon having a party and commerce and culture. Oftentimes the communication of the wrestling over truth isn't really over truth is about so you can actually miss out on the truth or even subvert the truth as it provides monitoring of welcome to let my people think the gospel would take some different welding can be difficult. Many times it can be seen to become a Christian, but even mean is not always the case is on the IMC Demaree state and the iPad and sometimes the path to working with Christianity's dream because they know family size them are willing #effectiveness in Mason.

That's less than obvious as part one of his message titled vandalism and honor and shame culture as I set the stage for the text I want to get into five but also if you look up John chapter 9 story to speak about so you can turn your Bibles or click on your devices or whatever way it is.

The Scripture to place their fullness of the context of the text preach from this morning Mr. John chapter 9 verses 1 to 41, but the text really does have a context to it. The best way to understand it as I think about this context is to complete it happened a few years ago I was some your message on Twitter direct was on twitter talking about the young Muslim man. He was engaging with on Twitter is this young guy really is open. We've gone back and forth on some of the objections he's washed. He is writing the bill stuff is watch your stuff is Roger stuff is really embracing these things that I think he's getting really close to face but there's still some barriers there was you talking with him. He lives in the Toronto area. Would you like to meet him sometime just so happened that I three weeks time. I was going to be speaking in Toronto so I wrote Mark back and said absolutely. Let's get this misgiving thought they set up the meeting so speaking of the church there I met this young man and he's a bright guy. She is articulate, soft-spoken but very articulate and very thoughtful. We sat down and I asked him what his questions were.

We went through some of his questions and answer them. He was agreeing with my answers, which was already attracted to me about would repeat the ground. We had just covered. He would object to the answer. He just agreed to and so there was a barrier was an emotional barrier something going on there. So I began. I know what the story is click on through myself.

I began to ask him about family and the background issues and what's really holding him back, and every time I got there he would switch it back to another issue go away from that issue and make it some kind of intellectual issue and I knew that it wasn't that because of agreeing with the answers. He knew the truth is afraid of it, was afraid of, and then the event happened that night when we were speaking. Logan Gates was here in the audience join me for a Q&A and this young man was there we sat down and we talk with him afterwards because the crowd cleared out just me him. Logan sat down and we began to go over some amorphous questions was quickly evident that he was to run intellectually and� We were clever, but because he had already acknowledged the truth it was years I think of study or inquiry got the place where he was and I was going to press the family issue because that was the barrier and so I asked him about it and what you told me essentially was that human striving his whole life to get his father's approval academically and professionally.

In all these things these in the middle between us is looking at the floors of the answers to all flesh questions on the floor and he says and the tears didn't just trickle out of his eyes. They were dripping out of his eyes. The were to set my father has never told me he's proud of me if I become a Christian. He never will know were very and the joystick here in the West, and so restrict ourselves. Truth is worth standing up for this, you acknowledge the truth of this young and have been doing what's the big deal what's new with the barrier know some of my you know what you will get upset you were Western you know we do we want individuals comes from an honor shame culture becomes less a culture steeped in the idea that honor is to be sought and shame is to be avoided.

Shame is the method by which morality is enforced here in the West were more of a guilt innocence culture always. That's seems that way.

I think were becoming very different.

The more more we look around ourselves, but a guilt innocence culture is basically one would you have innocence is sought after and then that's that inner sense of guilt that sense that we've done something wrong and there's a conscience within us. We individually think we need to go and fix something or confess a wrong. We've done whatever might be or are fear of a guilty conscience prevents us from doing something wrong and honor shame culture. It's different. The locus of enforcement of moral enforcement is not internal. It's external because the community in the family matter so much that you don't want to have shame, you don't want anybody else to know of your wrongdoings so you try to avoid doing those things so that no one else knows and no one else feels the sake the shame of all yourself so you can see something very, very powerful going on is that and this is Richards and O'Brien in their book.

This reading Scripture through westernized point this out is that in innocence and guilt. Culture when you have broken the law or you broken some moral standard of the community, whatever it is you have done something wrong, which means that you can do something to fix it and honor shame culture when you've broken some kind of social mores or whatever it might be you have not done something wrong. You have become someone bad and you need an identity change to fix it, to do something to fix it yet to become someone different to fix it so you can see how the moral issues become so personalized in honor shame culture where prevents even maybe even a pursuit for the truth because religious identity is not part of your life. It is your life even if you don't practice those people who are Muslims who you would never know if it was a crime to be a muscle that can be convicted of it is no evidence for the confession, but they will fight with you in a verbal deathmatch over whether or not Christianity or Islam is true, why is that because it's who they are.

It's their identity that I know this is true across the East in the Middle East.

You see this all the time.

People who are nominally religious, but that nominalism is actually quite cultural source, not in name only. It's actually get identity only, which is paradoxical but it's true. This is the context behind the what's going on in John chapter 9 is also another context owner bring to light before moving to the text, it is honor game. You see when you in an honor shame culture. Oftentimes the communication and the wrestling over truth isn't really over truth, it's about honor so you can actually miss out on the truth or even some subvert the truth or hide the truth if it provides honor and avoids shame how to think about this in Richards and O'Brien's talk about this as well, for honor game and on the honor game is played where public questions happen and you look at the Scriptures because he was happening over and over again where whatever Jesus question publicly. It's never to get answers then is he asking questions in public to get answers, asking questions in public today honor in the eyes of the people and diminish his honor in the eyes of the people you think about this. Think of the Sadducees. For example, the Sadducees don't believe in the resurrection is a question Jesus on the resurrection in public what they do. They set up the scenario to try to seek to try to show how silly the idea of the resurrection is from a conceptual standpoint you know the story when they say there's a woman. She was married to a man before they had kids.

He died and she married his brother before they had kids. He died and then he went on for seven people and they said whose wife will she be in the resurrection Jesus because is the resurrection a silly idea they were trying honor game didn't want an answer from Jesus. They wanted silence from Jesus because that would diminish his honor and increase theirs the eyes of the public and of course no one plays the honor game but Jesus like aikido master he throws it on them says you guys there is another Scriptures and recording of me and they lost honor. What's interesting is understanding the honor and shame culture and understanding the honor game is you and elucidation of the way Scripture actually works. There are certain phrases that we gloss over that when you look at it was an honor shame mentality begin to see the power of them even read the part of Scripture where it says and they were astonished at his teachings and no one dared ask him any questions should be good teaching foster questions, but the reason they don't ask any questions, is not because they didn't really want to know the truth because if you read the Scriptures. They did asking questions afterward the best on a contradiction.

What's up with her nearby. This is that no one dared ask him public questions was why Nicodemus comes under cover of night is why disciples asked him questions for information in private conversations. No one, after Jesus and play the honor game with them dared play it again because they were really interested in the truth.

They were interested in honor and inflicting some measure of shame. It's interesting that Artemis cannot tell you if every one of them you go to a credit to an audience and whether it's a Middle Eastern or Eastern culture that is either in the Middle East of the East or a congregation with a lot of easterners Middle East nurse here in the West to find out something when they really want an answer to a question we have to abilities to answer questions to ask questions at the open forums we can text and we can go to the microphone. The ones who text in wanting answers want to ask the questions the microphones are trying to challenge you. I was in a church recently in a big menace Like there and stepped aside as you know is geared towards Catholics at a church. We have people who are encouraged to bring a non-Christian friends and some guys can with microphone and one guy in particular, he comes in for the half you can't wait to ask you this question is if he thought was original and he says to me well and I met three pejorative. I mean it's it is a supercharged ask questions all the time when I was a muscle he comes up he says where does Jesus say these words I am God. Worship me and he doesn't say those words.

He knows that please try to trap me in something and so I can begin as respectably. This is very much 1/2 when is another digression of the question, but very much like this guys from the east of the Middle East asked those kinds of questions.

But here is another question. Acumen through text market difference in the way they were asked the question was this over the text. I'm a Muslim and I believe in the existence of God. But I still feel bored and even meaningless. Why is that overtaxed you can't admit someone that you might have some doubts because that shameful but you can't actually get information through the public questioning because that would be considered a challenge for the person who texted him didn't want challenge. They wanted an answer now might be asking yourself the question lies is important for us were not evangelizing ourselves.

Many of us in honor shame culture really the truth was sustained for you. By the time were done reading this text, and exploits of things that I think the West is very much now becoming an honor shame culture. If you don't understand this. How to witness an honor shame culture. I think you miss out on opportunities. We also might forget why it is we have a difficult time sharing the truth in our own cultures as well.

Some kind of the text now thought as a backdrop. Understanding the central idea is that the fear of shame and request for honor in the East Middle East and even in the West are barriers not only to accepting the truth.

But there also barriers to sharing the truth. That's right, that's true here in the West, so you will read John chapter 9 and I can read the whole thing because the passage is long and you know the story is in the cycles they come across a man who was born blind, asked him a question about how this could happen in Jesus as is for the glory of God. Essentially, God will work in this Amazing Way, Jesus is the light of the world and all this because of the man and he spits on the ground. He makes mud. They puts them on the man's eyes and says go wash in the pool of Siloam. The way it has a duty that we know that he's given sighted people by just putting his hands on them or whatever might be and we know he's healed people that he has even touched his walking in the crowd grabs his cloak and she is healed she didn't even asking for three know it is not to do that if you just think it will happen. Why go through all the rigmarole of making mod and then putting on the guys eyes and saying going go wash in the pool Siloam which means sent why do all of that we have to do any of it. I think the reason is because he is a troublemaker is speculation on my part, but it simply good educated guess that he's a troublemaker. He makes the mud to the text specifically says he does it on the Sabbath, and of course making mod is somehow work so he washes goes the gillnet washes and he goes and he sees his site comes back.

There was asking them how this happened. How this happened and they know it's Jesus who did it and he says that this guy put mud on my eyes and unwashed nipples alone, and I have I have site and so this division among them because they don't really know. Is this the same guy because they can't believe it is the same guy, and some say yes, it's her mother say no it looks like him. And all this and really look at verse 13. They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was set. Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. That's my evidence that uses a troublemaker and in this is that the Pharisees themselves are saying is this brilliant, a man from God, because no one does this kind of thing with the comes from God. Other something knows is not was going on here so there was division among them. Verse 18. I'll read the text appear the Jews did not believe that he had been blind had received his sight until he called the parents of the man who had received his site and asked them, is this your son who you say was born blind how that is enough. See she was going on here. You say he was born blind.

I think they suspect the scale for can you say he's been born blind. But this guy begs for a living. This is how he makes his money is so in order to get better sympathy you say. She was born blind. He really wasn't.

They suspect the scam because I can't possibly believe that Jesus is ethically said he was. His parents answered. We know that this is our son that he was born blind, but how he now sees we do not know nor do we know who opened his eyes. That's false. They do know who's who opened his eyes, because in the past before that everyone knows it's Jesus.

My guess is if you're the assignment of someone and you are blind your whole life. They been praying for your site to be restored in your site is restored and you know who did it tend to tell your parents that kind of thing.

If they say the Pharisees. They say we don't know who did it. I don't think it's true then they say this, ask him for years of age.

He will speak for himself. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews for the Jews already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ. He was to be put out of the synagogue.

Therefore his parents that he is of age, ask him for 24 so for the second time because a man who had been blind and said to him glory to God.

We know this man is a sinner he answered as a sinner. I do not know one thing I do know that though I was blind, now I see they said to him with the duty of how they open your eyes, he answered that I love this answer is the best I've told you already, and you would not listen. I do want to hear it again. He will be his disciples also, this young guy right at me and my goodness what a juxtaposition. By the way you notice this is that his parents like like like I said likely were praying for this man's instrument site three return. He was bearing the shame of being a better member bearing the shame of being a parent of a better and we were praying for this and then their prayers are answered because it happens to be answered by Jesus, the one that no one noticeable like the sowing fear of the shame that will come from being put out of the synagogue and claim to know this man who was one who did it and is the one who now sees has the boldness to say why do you want to know you want to be the disciples to miss a lot of snarking.

There is a lot of truth to amazing they reviled him saying you are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man. We do not know where he comes from a man answered why this is an amazing thing. You do not know where he comes from. He opened my eyes.

We know that God is not was at the centers. But if anyone is a worshiper of God and does as well. God listens to him ever since the world began. Has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God. He could do nothing.

They answered him, you were born under sin annuity just and they cast him out from the midst I think is often the synagogue passage of Scripture that stupid stuff so much of it thinking I cannot possibly talk about this in any one setting and it certainly U could talk about this for sermon after sermon after sermon. So many of the nuances, but I wanted to split on a couple of things that I think it's important for us to understand what's going on in this passage relative to the honor shame culture and maybe even to our own lives. The first thing is this how desperate is this a map.

Jesus walked along these lines. He doesn't know who walks up to him and a guide makes mud put on your eyes. Thank you very much of you out of the blue to split my money guys eyes and says go wash his pool slump and the goddess doesn't is does he like well where to lose more site. I don't have any legally doesn't that's already amazing. Jesus makes the mud on the Sabbath because a troublemaker and he wants to make a point. I think of any use. The whole situation to bring glory to God.

Every honor this young man, but I also find fascinating. Maybe this is the Arab inmate who likes to see that truth is not barely propositional.

It is propositional but is not barely propositional. It's power is conveyed in the way in which it's communicated, and only the Lord of history.

I'm telling you this right now is someone who used to hate the Scriptures now loves the Scripture so much.

I see so much of God leaving a pattern. Jesus tells us young man to go and wash in the pool of salaam and the first thing I thought of when I was reading this passage in preparing for today was the fact that Naaman, the powerful general comes and he's got leprosy and he comes to Elisha. He wants to be healed by the prophet and the prophet does anyone talk to him himself personally. He senses cervical says go wash in the Jordan River. This muddy little creek and up in the maintenance like weight, we have these mighty rivers and is clean beautiful places in my homeland. The Anna washed some Jewish Creek, but he humbles himself he doesn't. This is the thing that I think is beautiful about this. I really do think it's beautiful about it and I was trying to develop it but I just love the way it is, God weaves the pattern of his his message. He parallels things old and New Testament. He britches centuries together and he just doesn't have to tell him to go wash but I think what he's doing is calling to mind the humility that comes that a nonissue is willing to humble himself in this way, and he brings glory to God and he finds healing from the shameful from the shameful disease of leprosy. And here's a young man, he finds healing as well. God weaves his word together across centuries. I think that's an amazing part of the word of God, maybe even a powerful apologetic call itself. But then there's the characters on the phone around here as well with the parents have this curious statement to make the six years of age, ask him no liquor to said ask him to speculate a moment if you don't mind, but why does he say he is of age, likely because he doesn't look like it because he's a young man who did you just approach the age of adulthood and he's just now the kind of person you could speak for himself.

It's always a young guy, I don't think he's an older guy sick is a young guy and his parents are so afraid of what might happen that they throw him to the wolves and other words they know the truth that Jesus is the one who killed their son and they don't want to admit it, and so they don't admit the truth, and they throw their son to the wall saying you are the one the legal go easy on you because you're young. I don't know what is going to be, but they certainly don't want to bear the shame and put out of the synagogue so they throw him to the wolves.

And, of course, this young man who now sees as poetical by itself.

He's the one who is bold pointed out when I went to the point I'm trying to make here is that truth is often obscured by fear of shame. Truth is often obscured by fear of shame or dishonor and as I said before, it's not just accepting the truths that is obscured by fear or shame in sharing the truth that is obscured by fear of shame. I wonder how many of us can relate to that for many of us can relate to. If I say something it is also something back maybe I was a friend or two just shame as an enforcement mechanism can be a tool of suppression of accepting and sharing the truth. We know this is the case in this particular culture because it just a few short chapters later, John chapter 1242 to 43 we read this. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him. There were believers in Jesus, but for fear of the Pharisees. They did not confess it so that they would not be put out of the synagogue today love the glory that comes from man more than the glory comes from God.

That's about believers. That's why no shame can be such a powerful disincentive not only to accepting the truth for those who are even sold out believers sharing the truth very difficult. That's why I think there's a bridge being built right now in our culture that we think of the West is an innocent skilled culture. We think of the East as a honor shame culture that really isn't the case anymore. I don't think I want you to think about Twitter and social media. When asked a question on Twitter or politically. They send something out looking for an answer, or they looking for twitter war or some kind of a social media war with her back and forth in quite a bit and they won't have the last word that will be the cleverest one is the cleverest one gets more followers and the other one might lose followers.

That's the honor game of the East. I think that we are looking more and more like the more and more time goes on and maybe in all of our modern Western sophistication, we should pay attention to a Jewish peasant from ancient times yesterday and say to us the honor game is happening right now if you understand what the Scripture.

Ashley says I think is another wonderful apologetic for Scripture is that it actually speaks to all of us all the time. That's what it means the word to be living and active. It speaks to us today. It speaks to us today. You thinking about even more serious things is not just know do you have the cleverest equipment 280 characters on a social media platform now are engaged in what's called tensile culture where if someone initially happened celebrities you know they say something that is unpopular or controversial will cancel them. Going to the concert. Stop buying their albums and stop going to the movies, whatever it is that they cancel them completely. Even listening to the Bob Demaree in a message titled evangelism and an honor and shame culture to load a copy of this message, be sure to coalesce at 1-800-448-6766 disabled online will find more content and I'll deal on our website@ancien.lyg only on that. Be sure to check his pulse cost codes defense rests in the spell cost OPTi examines Christianity and other wild he's in the cool written as he addresses the claims and the objections against the Christian faith. From a legal perspective that web address again is ancien.LYG lies that I for days in Canada we can write to us that ancien PO Box 11808, Braswell two J3 00877 we say thank you for your support and consideration on Alan. We can pray for something we can be praying that he soon to coalesce email I sent on the eye and I want see that my people think is a ministry managed by Ozzie and Lance and

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