Sin Is Not The Problem

Well, of course, sin IS the problem, but believing that sin is the problem has become a greater problem.

Western culture paints the belief in sin in the worst light. If only oppressive religion didn’t make people feel so guilty. If only we realized our real potential. If only we weren’t so critical and judgmental. If only we looked for the good in others.

It all sounds so nice, so kind.

And it makes religion — Christianity in particular — seem so repressive, so intolerant, so blameworthy.

Yet no one holding this view seems concerned with what ought to be an overriding question — where did the first act of intolerance come from? How did the whole round of judgmental behavior get started?

Christian and non-Christian alike recognize that we all are not perfect. Yet somehow, the problem has become our feeling guilty for the wrong we do, not the wrong itself. The problem has become our judgment that others do wrong, not the wrong they do.

And we wonder why the lost world doesn’t want a savior.

Simply put, our culture has removed the need for a savior. Because, I’m OK and you’re OK. Not lost. And certainly not sinful.

The only people that ought to feel guilty are the ones pointing out sin. Shame on them for making the rest of us feel bad (not sinful — We Do Not Feel Sinful. To feel sinful would be … well, wrong).

So you see, our culture no longer believes sin is the problem.

It seems Christianity has played right into this deviation. No more fire and brimstone preaching! We don’t want people to hate coming to church. We have to bring them in with a good marketing strategy. Make church sound like fun and Christianity like the solution to whatever problem you are experiencing.

That’s not the way the preachers in the Bible went about speaking. John the Baptist called his audience a brood of vipers. Peter told his listeners they had killed the Messiah. Stephen called his audience stiff-necked and accused them of resisting the Holy Spirit.

And of course they died martyr’s deaths.

Many of our forefathers died the same way. But somewhere along the line, western Christianity got comfortable. Now we have rights and feel affronted if someone says something mean about Christians.

And more and more, we’re becoming silent. We don’t want to offend others by our “radical” religious views. So we’ll keep the peace and concentrate on lifestyle evangelism, because surely, just as people can see God when they look at nature, they can see Christ when they look at my life. Can’t they?

Why does it seem more and more that sin is not the problem as much as my willingness to say sin is the problem?

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm  Comments (12)  
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12 Comments

  1. Because Sin is the Christian problem. We can’t judge those outside of faith to be sinners when they don’t even believe in sin. We sound ridiculous quoting scripture to people who have no faith in scripture. It is all meaningless to them and only drives them away.

    You can’t threaten the child who has no attachment or commitment to the family- they will just go somewhere else. They would rather go to Hell if we can promise them there won’t be any hatefully judging Christians there. And we as Christians should not desire for anyone to go that way. I really don’t care what any forefather said to do. Jesus said to Love.

    Preachers should preach the truth as God leads in the discipleship of their flocks, but the rest of us need to shut our judgmental mouths- take the planks out of our own eyes- and start putting the LOVE of Christ into action in service to the Kingdom.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

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  2. Let love and truth speak together. It scares me how little sin is spoken of, especially in kids’ Sunday school. I’m not saying to preach hell (that can be a bit deep for a young audience). But if all children learn are to love and do good, then the story of Jesus dying for them becomes only that: a story.

    The fact is, sin is serious enough that God gave his life for us to bring freedom and forgiveness. Something both adults and children need to hear. It is when we see our sin that we see how great God’s love is for us.

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  3. Not that I’m letting the church off the hook on this, but part of the reason, in the broad view of things, was that sin was thought to directly cause physical harm — which is why blasphemy was taken so seriously during the Middle Ages. It wasn’t because Christians were intolerant, they just didn’t want to get sick.

    Though, there were hints in scripture (like Job) that sin had little to nothing to do with sickness or prosperity. After the discovery of microscopic life and the general intellectual climate post-Galileo west, fighting sin didn’t hold a practical purpose.

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  4. We as Christian’s should know sin is THE problem. That is the thing that is wrong with the world and us in it. I’ve never been in a Church that leaves it out, and if we are talking about the teaching within the Church to believers then I fully agree. Every Christian should know why Jesus died… and rose again. Every Christian should be living their life in a constant shedding of personal and generational sins, continually becoming more and more like Jesus, as the increasing Spirit in their being increases true perception of sin.

    Jesus only spoke harshly to the church leaders and his own disciples. To everyone else He extended grace and love. Morgan would be careful with the Hell topic in the Children’s Sunday school. What I’m saying is those outside the church are a step down from children’s Sunday school, and need to be handled with gloves on. Grace and Love have to come first. They are blind and deaf children who need to be handled with extreme patience and love. They all want the Love of Christ- their souls yearn for it- but they don’t know it yet. The world doesn’t give that- only we can. And we don’t for the most part. It is by Love that they desire to join our family- and once they’ve tasted it they will want more. And the Spirit will increase their senses.

    They should know we are Christians by our love- not by our judgments. Sin is the problem. We have language for that in the Kingdom. We have lots of language that is foreign to this world, and when we speak it we are not understood. We talk about sin to them and they don’t understand it is what they do and not who they are. They don’t understand that we are all sinners- they think that is a label we just put on them- and so when Christian’s sin they label us hypocrites. They don’t understand that God loves them too, and has a great plan for their lives. They don’t understand that we are not rejecting them, but desiring to save them from the poison that has caused their blindness and other afflictions.

    Fiction. I see fiction as a place we can reach out. Drop the foreign language, and convey the Truths we know with language and mental images that help them understand what we know, instead of pushing them away. But I firmly believe that Grace and Love must come first or they will never see or hear one bit of it- and then I feel we have failed to keep the only 2 Commandments Jesus gave, as well as the Great Commission- what should be our life mission.

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  5. Great post, Becky.

    If we withhold the gospel from people–the good news that Christ died for SIN, once for all, the righteous for the UNRIGHTEOUS, to reconcile you to God (1 Peter 3:18)then we are helping people go to hell. We must preach the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation. People are dead in their sins and the Bible says that the preaching of the gospel is what saves them. It is so very sad that so many churches in this nation have abandoned the gospel and are preaching peace, peace, when there is no peace.

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  6. The language issue I mentioned seems well illustrated in the C.S. Lewis short story “The Man Born Blind”.

    What is “sin”, Rebecca? Show it to me. What is “righteousness”, Sally? or “reconciliation”? or “salvation”? I can preach to the masses in Latin and it does nothing. They don’t understand. The scriptures themselves do not have the power to save. It is the Holy Spirit that does that work.

    Condemnations never saved anyone who didn’t already desire a right relationship with the Father. They have to have a desire to visit the Kingdom, before they have a willingness to learn the language. And even after they have the desire to understand- we have a lifetime of sin-muck clouding their senses.

    The scriptures are needed for discipleship in the Church. We have to get them in the door first, they have to taste love first, they need to recognize their desire to have what you’ve got first- or the very scriptures you claim they need for salvation will only condemn them to Hell… and they will not understand.

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  7. I disagree Patrick. There is something broken inside of us. Call it sin, call it darkness, call it whatever, but it is what separates us from God. It is why God came to earth and to die for us. People need to know there is something out there that frees them from what they have done wrong, that forgives them for what they have done wrong. Deep down, I believe every person knows there is this darkness inside them. It is God who calls them out of it.

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  8. Jay, I find your comment interesting. I think the church had good reason to be afraid. Ananias and Sapphira, remember, dropped dead when they lied about how much they got for their land. And Paul made reference to people getting sick, some even dying, because they took communion with unrepentant hearts.

    I’m sure a lot of superstition grew up around plagues and viruses that swept through communities, but I think we might be too quick to assume God wasn’t in those, using them to discipline His church, just because we now understand the scientific facts behind those illnesses.

    But that’s another whole subject!

    Becky

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  9. […] brings us to sin. As I suggested in my post yesterday, Christians have acquiesced to the culture, reducing any talk of sin to a […]

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  10. Your post reminds me a lot of the book House by Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker, given to me by my cousins. In it, two couples encounter several religious sayings, which mess with their minds.

    I agree that there is a growing problem with the silence of the concept of sin. It seems that everyone was rebelling against tradition in the 70’s, and that’s why I have to fight that adultery is wrong in my English essay 😛

    I appreciate your work, Rebecca!

    May God be with you,
    Pravda Veritas Writer

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  11. Hi, Becky! Wow, you certainly do muse on some poignant topics. I think that the slow fade of sin as a reality is a result of too many variables to pin down with absolute certainty. But, there are a couple of things we need to look at: 1) the general erosion of morality world wide. Forget the term sin; the term “wrong” is sliding into muddy waters. Things that would have been deemed deplorable 50 years ago are now hailed as the cool thing to do. Modern media applauds dishonesty, cheating, casual sex, deviant sex, profanity, rebellion, etc. etc. And with each generation, parents are becoming less and less consistent and disciplined. 2) That all being true, I wonder if it’s unavoidable that society should erode in this way. But I suspect that a very unfortunate precursor to this trend is that many who claim the flag of Christianity are selfish cowards. Don’t get me wrong, please. There are courageous frontline, loving, fighting Christians out there making a huge difference in this broken world. But by and large, so may Christians are just plain selfish. Why go love my neighbor when I can sit at home and be comfortable? And then, there’s the fear factor: why risk offending someone and being branded intolerant or worse?

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  12. […] This post is a follow up to Who Believes In Sin These Days? and Sin Is Not The Problem. […]

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