"Identity has to be the foundation of everything we do. The reason why is because most of the church culture that I was brought up in was, they really emphasised things you need to DO, what you need to LOOK like, these are the expectations you’re called to FULFILL, and these were hung over me instead of this is who you’re called to BE, and this is who you’re called to be LIKE.
And so I was constantly drilled: you are to love everybody, pray, read your bible everyday, worship God, talk to God, be patient, do not be angry, love and they would never emphasise how to get there. And it was always about: this is what I have to do, as long as I look okay on the outside then no one cares what’s really going on inside. It creates this culture where everybody shows up to church a-okay and all preppy and nice and no one knows what’s going on inside and I get to put up this face at church and no one knows what’s going on with my life.
Even though it’s sucking everywhere else, even though I’m struggling, depressed, hurt, broken, I’m not allowed to show it because I’m at church. And I have to act like I have everything together, I have to act like I don’t struggle with any sin and I have to act like all my friends love me and I’m doing perfectly in school and I’m pleasing my parents and I’m not arguing with them or whatever because I listen to everything they say because I love my parents all the time and they love me all the time. And NOTHING’S going on.
And what happens is, is that you get is hypocrites. And it’s exactly what Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for, you guys are white washed tombs, you’re clean on the outside, you look perfect on the outside but inside you’re full of dead men’s bones. And this is the reason why, people today in American culture today do not like “church” - when I mean church I’m saying the institution of what they believe to be Christianity, I’m not saying the Christ body because the bride is beautiful. But what I’m saying is what people believe to be the church of Christ - people who represent God, they have this picture in their head. You ask anybody on the street “What do you think of church?”, someone whose not a Christian or religious and you ask them, “What do you think of church and Christianity?” the first thing most people say - hypocrites.
But if you ask any of them, “what do you think about the person of Jesus Christ?” they say - I love him, he represented love, he loved everybody, he was an amazing teacher, he was a prophet…there’s the utmost respect for the person Jesus. Yet when you ask them about church who say they FOLLOW him you have the exact opposite and that is a problem.
Anytime you emphasise outward change over change of the heart, you have religion instead of the Kingdom.”
- Brandon Lee