This is going to be another controversial subject but here goes. It is mainly aimed at Christians but then sin is something we all have in common. Where Christians differ, they are sinners saved by grace.
I was speaking to a friend the other day who when he came to my home town spent time going round the churches before ending up at mine. He made the interesting point that the churches he visited spoke about things like being nice to one another and doing good in the community but rather glossed over the fact we are all sinners who need to repent and find salvation that Christ alone can offer. He rather felt he had been short changed and came to my church because he felt it would address his concerns.
I say this not to have a go at other churches, for Christ loved the Church and so must I, but rather to challenge readers, including myself. After all becoming righteous in God’s eyes and living a righteous life is at the heart of the gospel message. Sin is in my experience something people do not want to hear about. To suggest to folk they are sinners both by nature and in execution is an anathema to many and if the idea is to include rather than exclude some ministers take a view: better to go easy on this subject, and why reinforce the stereotype that Christians are judgemental?
There are considerations worth raising here. We are told people are put off Christianity because of its negative connotations and sin is seen as negative, whereas we want to be positive like share a message of a loving God who can help us on our way. Yet Christianity is about truth and if we only present the more acceptable aspects then we do a disservice. Then Christians tend to cherry pick, emphasizing certain sins and ignoring others at least as egregious. I quite get it when my LBGT friends complain at being got at because of their lifestyle when they see so much hypocrisy in the church. As a community activist, I realise all too well the implications of loving my neighbor and serving my community. Then Christians tend to respond to spirit of the age as to what is right and wrong. Given the recent events in Charlottesville, I am amazed at how many theological good guys go to great efforts to denounce the sin of racism and yet they fail to touch on equally great sins that are just as evident. When it comes to the gospel message, it is about being forgiven of past sins by virtue of Christ’s death, living a righteous life in the present and preparing for the day when we will be free from sin as we will be with Christ for eternity.
As a gospel preacher, my focus is to preach the gospel (see here for example). I must not be a respecter of persons or take my cue from what others think, even though I need to be sensitive as to what is happening around me. The bottom line is while we may be great sinners, there is one who is an even greater Saviour. I invite you to turn from your sin and turn to Him; it is He alone who can save you.
2 thoughts on “Sin”
I find it infuriating that so many Christians of the conservative variety are constantly attacking LGBT people but ignore so much that is wrong in the world. Let us take an example like factory farming. The cruelty involved is simply unimaginable yet we never hear churches condemning it. In the USA, there are mega rich pastors living super affluent lifestyles, all from money gained from their followers, but the sin of greed (not to mention the teachings of Jesus on wealth) seems to be ignored. In fact, the general impression one gets is, despite mouthing platitudes like ‘we’re all sinners’, that these people believe themselves to be more virtuous, more deserving and more justified in sitting in judgement on the rest of us. Yet one only has to look back at the history of Christianity to see that the church has rarely practised what it preached and has allied itself more often than not with the forces of conservatism and oppression…
actually Glen I agree. I thought my post made that clear. I may revisit to tighten up.