Our culture is so anti-sin that since the dawn of psychotherapy we have resorted to calling sin merely sickness. We remove the moral responsibility from sin and assure ourselves that it is not our fault. We shift the blame from ourselves to our biological makeup, to other people, or even to God himself. It's a habit as old as the existence of sin itself. Adam, in the Garden of Eden, placed blame on Eve, and God. This is not how God looks at it, however. He has not be seduced by psychology. Sin is still sin in His book.
But it was in a conversation with some co-workers over breakfast this last week that I saw first hand the other way we think about sin in our culture. While attempting to share the gospel with these two young men I was "informed" that we are not all born sinners. We're all actually born good. We learn sin and therefore sin, but this is merely a result of our society's stupidity.
The problems here are manifold. Of course we must concede that sin did not exist until Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden. But post-fall all men are born sinners. One of these young men argued that its clearly evident to see man's internal goodness when we look at a child. But I argue that looking at a sweet, beautiful child and watching them disobey, without years of observed sinfulness, is clear evidence that man is inherently sinful. Why do children learn to lie before they can even speak? Why do they squirm and resist getting their diapers changed? How did they learn to manipulate their mothers and fathers and grandparents with that innocent little looks and hugs after having disobeyed? They know because it is in them from birth to do so.
This does not mean that all people are as bad as they can be. But if all men are good why are they not able to resist the temptation to sin in even the smallest way (cheating on their taxes, speeding, selfishness, etc.)? We are all bad, and even the smallest sins count against us before God.
But there is hope. For when we are willing to admit we are sinful, and not just sick, then we are steps away from securing freedom from that sin. Christ came into the world as God's only Son and bore the wrath that we deserved for our sins, when He died upon the cross. And now all who confess they are sinners and beleive upon Jesus' death and resurrection on their behalf will be saved. Acceptance of your sin is necessary for salvation, friends. So own up to it, and step into freedom from bondage!
Labels: Language, Ministry, Pastors, Preaching, Theology