The Gospel from a Shame/Honor Perspective

The UN Refugee Agency reports that there are currently 26.4 million people around the world that are refugees. Of this 26.4 million, 6.7 million are from Syria and 2.6 million are from Afghanistan – both primarily Islamic nations, and both with shame- based cultures. In fact, a quick look at the map below demonstrates how prevalent the shame/honor-based culture is around the world.

It is increasingly likely that people in your sphere of influence possess a much different background and cultural lens than you do. As Westerners, primarily with a guilt/innocence mindset, it can be difficult to see, much less, present the gospel with a different mindset. To demonstrate the difference, The 3D Gospel, by Jayson Georges, compares mindsets using the “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet as an example. Here is a comparison of the guilt/innocence to the shame/honor mindset from the book:

Guilt/Innocence

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. Jesus came so that we would have eternal life and not perish. Jesus offers us an abundant life.

Shame/Honor

God values you and wants to honor you as His child. God created us with glory and honor, to live with harmony in his family.

Guilt/Innocence

People are sinful and condemned by God. Our transgressions create a barrier between us and a holy God. Good works fail to reach God’s standard.

Shame/Honor

People are shameful and dishonor God. Our rebellion disgraces the glorious God and produces shame. Our attempts to restore honor fall short of covering the shame of our spiritual orphanage.

Guilt/Innocence

Jesus Christ is the perfect sacrifice for your sins. Jesus died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty of sins. Jesus bore the wrath of God’s punishment for us.

Shame/Honor

Jesus Christ bore all your shame and restores honor. Jesus’ disgraceful death removes our shame and restores honor. By honoring God, Jesus allows you to rejoin God’s family.

Guilt/Innocence

You must receive Jesus as your personal Savior. Receive Christ as personal Savior and turn from human morality to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Shame/Honor

You must give allegiance to Jesus to enter God’s family. Receive God’s gracious welcome into his family and live under His name. Turn from false cultural face to receive honor from God.

Presenting the truths of scripture from a different mindset can be challenging, but Jesus’ death and resurrection is a “complete” gospel – one that reaches people from all cultural mindsets.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Lord God, although humans view the Bible through cracked, blurred lenses, Your infallible Word of Truth will powerfully overcome cultural traditions and beliefs. We declare that the perfect scriptures for each person will be heard and received by those raised in Shame-based cultures, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, understanding will be quickly received, bringing many souls into Christ’s kingdom!

One Comment on “The Gospel from a Shame/Honor Perspective

  1. Christ’s Revelation and spiritual opening of eyes during Ramadan Allowing God to lead our prayers. Thank you for info.

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